Police say mom drowned newborn in toilet


by KING5.com Staff and Associated Press


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 1:05 PM

Video: Baby drowned, thrown away after birth

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - Police say a baby boy who was born to a teenage mother last week was drowned in the toilet.

Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher confirmed Monday that investigators believe the 16-year-old girl held the boy face down in the toilet until he died.

The boy's body was found by authorities who searched 60 tons of trash at a Graham landfill.

The mother made her first court appearance in Clallam County court Monday, facing a possible murder charge. She was ordered held on $500,000 bail and assigned a public defender.

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The judge said the girl was to have no contact with several people, including her father, 41-year-old Ronald Last, Jr. He's been charged with concealing the birth of a child and being a felon in possession of a firearm and a controlled substance. His bail is set at $10,000.

Police say the girl moved to Port Angeles in October from Pueblo, Colo. Where she had lived with her mother.

Gallagher says Pierce County sheriff's deputies, Tacoma police and state troopers helped in the search at a dump site in Graham. They found the body after about six hours of searching.

"They have quite literally a mountain of garbage to go through," said Gallagher before the search began.

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," said Gallagher.

Police say the baby's body was put in an alley trash can.

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

Washington state's Safe Haven law was passed to prevent situations like this. The law allows a parent to leave their unharmed newborn with an employee at any hospital or staffed fire station within 72 hours of birth without fear of prosecution.