Seattle woman accused of abandoning newborn in trash 23 years ago charged with second-degree murder

Seattle woman accused of abandoning newborn in trash 23 years ago charged with second-degree murder

A woman, now 50, told Seattle police officers that she blocked her unplanned pregnancy, then panicked after giving birth to a boy in the toilet at a Lake City gas station in 1997 and putting him in a trash can, according to King, according to district attorneys .

Christine Warren, whose DNA matched the DNA of a placental blood clot found at the scene, was charged Monday with second degree murder and is being held on bail for $ 10,000.

If Warren is convicted of murder, he faces a prison sentence of roughly 10 to 18 years, Assistant Attorney General Karissa Taylor noted in the indictments.

It was not clear from the court records on Monday whether Warren was represented by a lawyer.

An employee at the Chevron Station on the 8700 block of Lake City Way Northeast called the police at 12:40 p.m. on November 20, 1997 and said she discovered the child’s body on the bottom of clear plastic trash when she did so went to remove trash from the toilet, say the charges.

The doctor later found that the baby, still attached to the umbilical cord and placenta, was born live and weighed 7.7 pounds. First a natural death was ordered, a month later it was classified as murder.

During the investigation, the police learned that another employee had cleaned up blood and refurbished the toilet on early November 19, 1997 according to the charges. After the baby’s death was published, a woman contacted the police and said she held the shop door open late in the evening for a woman wearing a blanket around her waist and going straight to the bathroom, and the police received video surveillance footage , which confirms the witness’s report, the indictments say.

The woman, who was featured on the video at 11:20 p.m. on November 18, 1997, left the bathroom and left the store 14 minutes later.

In the summer of 2018, the mother’s DNA was sent to a private laboratory for genotyping and uploaded to GEDmatch, a public genealogy website. From there, genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter compiled a list of candidates whose ancestors are linked to the baby’s mother.

Warren, who was 27 when the baby was born, was added to Rae-Venter’s roster in March 2020. Police found that she lived in the Seattle area and matched the woman’s physical characteristics shown on the store’s surveillance footage.

That November, Detectives sent Warren a mailing inviting her to complete a survey for a fictional beverage company. The DNA from the envelope she sent back has been matched with the DNA from the placenta’s blood clot, the prosecution say.

Police say Warren admitted being the baby’s mother when detectives interviewed her on March 1 and identified themselves on a still from the store’s video footage. Detectives say she told them the baby’s father reacted negatively when she told him she was pregnant. She told detectives that she ignored her pregnancy, told no one she was pregnant and had not received prenatal medical care, the indictments say.

Police say Warren told detectives she had convulsions and asked a friend to drive past the gas station where she gave birth. Then she panicked and put it in a trash can to cover with rubbish. Police say Warren didn’t believe the baby was alive but never checked his vital signs.

Michelle Oberman, a law professor at Santa Clara University who researched neonatalicide, the term used to describe infant murder in the first 24 hours of her life, said in an interview last week that the crime was driven by extreme impulsiveness rather than intentional, deliberate strategy is characterized in first-degree murder cases.

Those who abandon their babies tend to be “socially isolated, marginalized, and vulnerable women who are paralyzed in the face of pregnancy,” she said.