Photo: Jessica Cruz Gives Birth to Secret Baby Then Kills it in Salvation Army Bathroom
A 19-year-old girl has been arrested and charged with the murder of the baby she gave birth to at an Illinois Salvation Army.
Police say Jessica Cruz of Hanover Park, gave birth to a baby boy only to strangle the newborn with a garbage bag and dump it into the trash.
Wednesday, Cruz was ordered held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide.
Prosecutors say Cruz entered a Salvation Army story in Streamwood on Friday, November 4, and asked to use the employee bathroom. There, she gave birth to a baby her family did not even know she was carrying.
She reportedly attempted to clean herself up before putting the baby’s body in the bathroom trash can and trying to cover it with paper towels. She then left the bathroom and store covered in poorly cleaned up blood.
After what Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Maria McCarthy called “an exceptionally brutal and heinous act,” Cruz went to a grocery store where witnesses reported seeing the woman acting oddly.
Her behavior and the blood on her was reported to police who then began a search for a child.
Officers recovered the baby, whose umbilical cord was still attached, and it was determined the child had died of strangulation due to ligature marks on his neck.
The child is believed to have been full term, though police say no one but the baby’s father even knew Cruz was pregnant.
When police attempted to contact her mother, Cruz attempted to mislead them by pretending to be her on the phone. She told them she had not seen her daughter in months.
The baby was 6 lbs, 11 oz.