Arrest made in death of infant found in dumpster - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in death of infant found in dumpster

Courtesy: St. Joseph County Police Dept. Courtesy: St. Joseph County Police Dept.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office says 32-year-old Purvi Patel has been arrested on Feticide charges after an infant was found in a shopping center dumpster.

An autopsy was started Monday morning. Metro Homicide says the physical exam of the baby is done and they're waiting on toxicology results.

Per the Prosecutor's office, "Feticide" is defined by Indiana Code 35-42-1-6 as follows:

" A person who knowingly or intentionally terminates a human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus commits feticide, a Class B Felony. This section does not apply to an abortion performed in compliance with: 1. IC 16-34; or 2. IC 35-1-58.5 (before its repeal)."

The charge carries between six and 20 years in jail, with the advisory sentence being ten years.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office will review the investigation and make a formal charging decision within 48 hours.

St. Joseph County Jail staff tells FOX28 that Patel is still behind bars Monday night and no bond has been set yet.

Late Saturday night, the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department was notified by St. Joseph Regional Medical Center that a woman was seeking treatment after she said she gave birth, but there was no baby present.

Upon further questioning, hospital staff found that the woman, Patel, had in fact given birth and that the infant had been placed into some sort of bag and put in a dumpster somewhere in the University Crossing Shopping Center, on University Drive in Granger.

The Sheriff's Department, along with Mishawaka Police, a Department of Natural Resources officer and a doctor from St. Joseph Regional began searching multiple trash dumpster's behind the stores.

A bag with a deceased fetus was located in a trash dumpster behind Moe's Southwest Grill. 

Officers not only secured that scene, but also Patel's hospital room and residence on Northhampton Drive.
The Metro Homicide Unit was called to take over the investigation.  Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett told FOX28 that as part of the investigation a car is being processed.  He also said an autopsy was tentatively scheduled for Monday to determine whether or not the baby was stillborn when it was delivered.

There are safe haven laws in Indiana that allow a mother to drop off a baby no questions asked at hospitals, fire stations, and police stations.

Stay with FOX28 News on the air and online for the latest as this story develops.




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