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Newborn Airliner Infant Goes To Foster Home

July 17, 1988

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) _ The infant born in an airliner’s restroom and abandoned there by her mother was released from a hospital Saturday and given to county officials, who placed her in a foster home.

″She was having no problems at all, she was just a healthy little girl,″ said Sally Worster, nursing supervisor at Mills Memorial Hospital in San Mateo, about 15 miles south of San Francisco.

The 8-pound, 9-ounce infant was taken by representatives of San Mateo County’s Child Protective Services in the morning.

The agency’s deputy director, Robert McMillan, said late Saturday that the infant girl was placed in a foster home for the weekend, pending the outcome of a hearing Monday to determine temporary custody.

″We’ll make allegations regarding the behavior of the mother that resulted in the need for us to intervene on behalf of the child,″ McMillan said Friday.

The child has been in the custody of county officials since being found Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the husband of the girl’s mother says he should be allowed to keep the baby despite the child endangerment charges filed against his wife, the man’s lawyer said.

Louis LoCasto, 26, ″believes he is the father, and there is no reason to believe he is not,″ said attorney Vicki Yeley, who is representing LoCasto in a custody fight with social workers.

LoCasto appeared shaken at a news conference Friday after visiting the baby with his wife, Christina Marie LoCasto, 24, who pleaded innocent Thursday afternoon to felony charges of child endangerment and was released on $50,000 bail. If convicted, she faces up to six years in prison.

Mrs. LoCasto is accused of delivering the full-term baby in the lavatory of a United Airlines DC-10 just before it took off from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, where the couple and the family’s two other children planned to vacation.

Flight attendants told investigators they locked the lavatory after finding it splattered with blood, but the flight took off and the Locastos left the airplane with other passengers. A cleaning crew found the infant about 20 minutes later.

Mrs. LoCasto’s attorney said he will tell San Mateo County Juvenile Court officials at a hearing scheduled Monday in Belmont that the family should be reunited with the infant.

″Of course she wants the baby,″ attorney John L. Williams of San Jose said Friday. ″That’s the whole point of this - to unify the family.″

Mrs. LoCasto, a Staten Island, N.Y., homemaker, held the baby and spoke to the pediatrician caring for her during Friday’s visit. The parents named the child Alyssa Frances.

Stephen Wagstaffe, a San Mateo County district attorney, said he plans to fight attempts to return the baby to the couple.

″The conduct that she showed us here is really dangerous,″ he said.

″She’s not 15 years old. She’s 24, and she has two children ... I think society owes it to this little infant that she’s going into a home with a stable mother.″

Wagstaffe said if evidence surfaces that shows Mrs. LoCasto intended for the child to die, he will ″up that charge in a minute″ to attempted murder.

Mrs. LoCasto and her husband, who runs a limousine service, were having marital problems when the child was conceived. She concealed the pregnancy from her husband because she had some extra weight after delivering another child 18 months ago, Yeley said.

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