Judge enters not guilty plea for mother of baby found in dumpste - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Judge enters not guilty plea for mother of baby found in dumpster

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

A judge has entered a not guilty plea Purvi Patel, the mother of the baby found in a dumpster on Saturday.  The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office charged Patel with Neglect of a Dependent on Wednesday.

The baby was found in the dumpster behind a northern Mishawaka shopping center Saturday evening. Patel was arrested Monday.

Thursday Patel showed up to court covering her face with a scarf and left the courthouse the same way. Both her and her lawyer chose not to comment on the allegations against her.

The initial not guilty plea filed Thursday is a typical court formality. Patel has up to 20 days to change the plea.

According to court documents, Patel showed up at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Saturday evening bleeding. Emergency personnel believed she recently delivered a child, which the documents say Patel denied.

The documents say Patel was taken to the hospital's maternity floor where she was examined by an obstetrician. The obstetrician's opinion was that she had just delivered a baby. Documents say Patel asked for a second opinion. Another doctor was called in and made the same opinion.

The court documents say Patel eventually told the staff she delivered the baby at her home in Granger and told the staff she did not see the child breathing or moving and thought it was dead. Documents say Patel told the staff she put the baby in a bag and placed it behind the dumpster of the Mishawaka Super Target. The staff says she also told them she was roughly two months along and had a miscarriage. Doctors believe she was actually 28 to 30 weeks - or around 7 months - along.

Fearing for the child, court documents say one of the doctors drove to the shopping center and started searching dumpsters, calling police for help. After searching a number of dumpsters, officers found a body behind Moe's Southwest Grill. The doctor determined it was a pre-mature baby roughly 30 weeks along. According to the doctor, his external examination showed no reason why the child would not have survived.

An autopsy was completed on the body on Monday. Investigators say a forensic pathologist believes the child was pre-mature, but had been born alive and taken a breath.

After getting a search warrant for Patel's phone, court documents say investigators discovered she had discussed being pregnant with at least one friend. Documents say she also admitted to obtaining two drugs from Hong Kong in an attempt to abort the child which she started taking Wednesday, July 10. Doctors tell investigators one of the drugs would have no effect on a fetus more than nine weeks along, the other drug would induce labor.

Patel bonded out of the St. Joseph County Jail Wednesday evening on $10,000 cash bond. Prosecutors say as a condition of the bond, Patel must forfeit her passport, be prohibited from leaving St. Joseph County without approval of the court and be placed under electronic monitoring.

Patel is scheduled to be back in court for a hearing on July 31 in front of Judge Elizabeth Hurley. Additionally Patel is expected in court on Sept. 26 for her omnibus date, which is a pretrial date to asses evidence and set future court dates.

Click here to read the full affidavit.

Stay with FOX28 News and fox28.com for continuing developments on this story.

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