LAKELAND, Fla. (TCD) — Police have arrested a 34-year-old mother after a newborn was found dead in a dumpster last week.
According to a news release from the Lakeland Police Department, on Thursday, May 11, officers found the deceased infant behind the businesses at 3625 S. Florida Ave.
Police said the medical examiner determined the “full-term infant was born deceased” and had a “severe brain deformity.” The results of the autopsy “do not indicate homicide or that foul play caused the infant’s death.”
After police released photos of a possible suspect, 34-year-old Brusela D’Enstachio-Lugo turned herself in and told police she gave birth outside her home on Wednesday, May 10. She reportedly said she was “unaware she was pregnant before giving birth” and told police she “only had minor symptoms and believed she was just getting sick.”
According to police, D’Enstachio-Lugo admitted she didn’t go to the hospital because she was in the country illegally and did not “have any money to pay the medical expenses.”
After giving birth, D’Enstachio-Lugo allegedly placed the newborn’s remains in the dumpster.
The State Attorney’s Office filed charges against D’Enstachio-Lugo for transporting, storing, and preserving human remains.
Officials collected the deceased infant’s DNA to compare with that of D’Enstachio-Lugo. The Department of Homeland Security will look into her immigration status.
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