Port Angeles teen mother arrested in death of newborn


by By / KING 5 News


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 28 at 12:54 PM

Video: Teen mother arrested in death of newborn

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - Police say a 16-year-old Port Angeles girl killed her newborn baby and then threw the infant in the trash.

Neighbors know the teen mother from her previous summer visits to her father's Port Angeles home.

Last October, they watched her move back again from Colorado, never knowing she was hiding a secret - she was already more than six months pregnant.

"She's a heavyset little girl, she was sitting out front, smoking her cigarettes and wearing heavy, loose stuff, black, covered up I guess," said longtime neighbor Dennis Martin.

Police say a previous house resident reported the birth Friday, more than two days after the birth.

"We have statements that indicate that the baby was alive when born, we know now that the baby died shortly thereafter, but I'm not prepared to discuss that any further at this point," said Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher.

Police say the baby's body was put in an alley trash can. Collectors have now isolated 60 tons of compacted garbage and taken it to Graham, to search for the baby's remains.

"We're probably looking for a plastic bag of some type, maybe wrapped in carpet," said Gallagher.

Besides the teen mother, five adult men and several other children lived in the home.

Police say the teen's father has also been arrested for concealing the birth of a child, and as a felon in possession of a firearm. His criminal history shows drug and theft convictions.

"She's certainly a suspect in a tragic crime, but she's also 16 years old, but certainly I don't think has benefited from advice, guidance of the adults that are in her life," said Gallagher.

The girl is being held at the Clallam County Youth Center on a charge of First Degree Murder. She could appear before a judge on Monday.