Woman leaves newborn in her family's garage
Jun. 12, 1997
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) _ A 19-year-old high school senior whose family didn't know she was pregnant gave birth in their garage, where the woman's father found the child four hours later.
Not knowing that the newborn was his granddaughter, Riccardo Felix took the child to his police officer neighbor, who called an ambulance.
``At first I thought the baby was dead when I saw her because she wasn't moving,'' officer Doris Reynolds said. ``But then she moved.''
Claudette Felix, who police say collapsed in the bathroom after giving birth around 3 a.m. Wednesday, faces child endangerment charges. Ms. Felix and her 5-pound, 14-ounce daughter were both in stable condition Wednesday night at Jersey City Medical Center.
After cleaning the child and wrapping her in a blanket and some clothes, Ms. Felix returned to the house to clean up, police Sgt. Tom Comey said. Police said it was not a case of child abandonment because they believe she intended to go back and get the baby.
``What we believe we have here is a young lady that came into an unusual circumstance and didn't know what to do,'' Comey said.
Felix found the baby around 7:30 a.m. Investigators arrived and questioned Ms. Felix, who admitted the baby was hers.
Ms. Felix's 17-year-old brother, Joshua, told The Jersey Journal that no one in the family knew she was pregnant.
``When I woke up, here was all this commotion. My sister pregnant? That was news to me,'' he said.
Another New Jersey high school student gave birth Friday during her prom. The child was found dead in a bathroom stall and authorities in Monmouth County have not decided whether to press charges.