Mother charged with aggravated murder after disappearance of infant
Sep 26, 2023, 11:11 AM | Updated: 2:59 pm
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
HEBER CITY, Utah — A mother in Heber City has been charged with the murder of her infant son. On Tuesday she was charged in 4th District Court with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.
According to public records the mother, an 18-year-old woman from Mexico, withheld supplemental oxygen that her infant son, identified as D.O. needed for survival.
Police also said that the mother “researched and even attempt(ed) to take the baby’s life before ultimately causing his death.”
KSL NewsRadio has chosen not to name the suspect because she is the victim of domestic violence.
Infant was born premature, went home with mother after 22 days
Police records show the mother has lived in Utah for about a year. According to police, she gave birth to a premature boy who spent 22 days in a neonatal intensive care unit. The mother was sent home with oxygen.
On Sept. 1, 2023, police said a tenant of the mother’s apartment complex called 911 and reported that the infant had stopped breathing. An ambulance responded and the infant was hospitalized.
Police said they believe the infant was hospitalized because of an attempt to take his life. A search of electronic records found that the mother had searched “taking the life of a baby” on or around Sept. 3. Electronic records also revealed that the mother had searched “how long do you spend in prison for killing your baby,” as well as other searches about the Patron Saint of Death, and holy death.
On Sept. 14, police responded to the same address after receiving a report that the infant may be the subject of abuse. Neither the mother nor the infant were found at the apartment at that time. A roommate told police she had last seen the two on Sept. 11.
Police: The mother was found without the baby
The mother was found in Kamas, Utah on Sept. 19, when she told police the infant had been driven to Mexico with another person. Police said they could not corroborate the mother’s story that the infant was with another person in Mexico.
On Sept. 20, the results of a search warrant revealed recent searches on the mother’s phone about the Kamas sewage treatment plant, Salt Lake solid waste, and “garbage dumps near me.”
According to police, the mother eventually accompanied them to Exit 131 off of I-80. She told them it was where she’d left D.O.’s body. At the date of publication, th body has not been found. Police said a search plan which includes cadaver dogs and more officers was established.
The 18-year-old mother is charged with aggravated murder, obstruction of justice, abuse or desecration of a dead human body, and producing or transferring false identification. She remains jailed in Wasatch County.
Mother previously reported domestic violence
Documents from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office show that the mother reported an incident of domestic violence in April, 2023, with a man presumed to be the baby’s father.
At that time, she told officials that her ex-partner had first verbally, and then physically abused her. The documents show escalating incidents of violence, that led to bruising and inquiries about the mother’s safety by the nursing staff of a Park City clinic.
After further reports of domestic violence, and after speaking with the suspect, the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office recommended charges of domestic violence assault to the Wasatch County Attorney.
Resources available for moms and families in distress
Please visit the Maternal Mental Health Referral Network if you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues surrounding pregnancy and/or postpartum.
- Popular Utah YouTuber Ruby Franke arrested for child abuse
- Parenting advice YouTuber Ruby Franke and business partner due in court on child abuse charges
- Sandy police and fire respond to near drowning of infant