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Bail Set For Student Charged With Drowning Newborn Baby

December 9, 1985

BENSON, Minn. (AP) _ A teen-ager has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly drowning her newborn baby in a toilet and then hiding the body in a closet, authorities say.

Swift County Attorney John Riches III said Judge R.A. Bodger set bail at $50,000 Saturday for Elaine Grace Torkelson, 19.

He said the Willmar Community College student gave birth to a girl Nov. 23 in the bathroom of her parents’ home in Kerkhoven, used a wastepaper basket to hold the baby’s head down in the toilet and then hid the body.

According to the criminal complaint, the Sheriff’s Department began investigating when it received a report that Miss Torkelson had been admitted to a hospital, complaining of bleeding and a possible miscarriage. The infant’s body was found the following morning by her parents.

An autopsy determined the infant was born alive and drowned, the complaint said.

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