NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sources tell CBS 2 they believe the baby found in a teenager’s shopping bag at a store in Manhattan on Thursday was born alive and weighed more than 8 pounds.
The NYPD is awaiting a complete report from the Medical Examiner’s office to officially determine the cause of death. Getting the results could take several weeks.
Tiona Rodriguez and Francis Estevez, both 17, were inside a Victoria’s Secret lingerie store in Midtown when they were suspected of shoplifting, police said.
Security guards called police after they noticed a strong odor coming from one of their bags and found the baby, police said.
Sources said it appears Rodriguez was six to eight months pregnant when she gave birth on Wednesday. She told officers Thursday she was carrying the child’s remains because she had delivered a day earlier and didn’t know what to do, authorities said.
Thursday night, police searched Rodriguez’s apartment. Friends and neighbors said they had no idea she was pregnant. The Bushwick Academy student already has a 2-year-old son.
“I couldn’t really tell because she’s a little heavyset, so I wouldn’t know if she was pregnant, pregnant or that’s just her,” neighbor Ramon Acosta said.
“I hope she didn’t do nothing to the baby. That’s all. I hope she didn’t do it,” neighbor Gloria Pierce told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Initially it was unclear if Rodriguez even knew she was pregnant. Late Wednesday night, she posted on her Facebook page complaining about “these cramps.”
Many people who know her said they had no idea she was pregnant.
“She’s not a harmful person. Basically, she’s kind of person you can chill with. She’s a nice young lady,” friend Zami Ford said.
Both girls were arrested on charges of petit larceny. Rodriguez was initially hospitalized but was being questioned by police Friday night, Sanchez reported. More serious charges could follow.
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