SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The mother of a newborn infant whose body was found at a Westchester County recycling center last month has been charged with second-degree murder, police said Wednesday.
Maria Oliva Guaman-Guaman was arrested and arraigned Tuesday in Spring Valley. Police Chief Paul Modica said the 23-year-old woman strangled her newborn son last month.
“We do have a full confession from her,” Modica said. “Basically, what it boiled down to, is that she didn’t want the baby. That’s what she told the investigator.”
The remains of the full-term baby boy were found on Nov. 12 in a black garbage bag at Brookfield Resource Management Inc. in Elmsford, police said.
Authorities found a lottery ticket in the bag with the baby’s body and traced it back to a convenience store in Spring Valley. Police said the baby’s body was dumped in a recycling bin behind the store.
The medical examiner determined the infant was born alive and was the victim of a homicide.
Spring Valley police named the newborn “Baby Angel” and held a funeral for him at St. Joseph’s Church on Nov. 23.
Last week, investigators released video of a woman considered a person of interest in connection with the case. The woman was seen walking in and out of St. Joseph’s Church during the baby’s funeral.
That woman was cleared by police after she voluntarily talked with detectives on Saturday. Authorities said she had gone to the church for a Bible study class, but left when she realized a Mass was under way.
Modica said “50 to 60” tips from the community and DNA led them to Guaman-Guaman. A towel and some clothing were found with the baby.
“There were tears, but I can’t really say she was remorseful,” the chief said. “She told the investigator she didn’t want the child, and later on she said, ‘I can’t afford another child.”’
Modica said Guaman-Guaman also has a 2-year-old daughter, who is now in the care of child welfare officials. He said she had not named the baby.
Guaman-Guaman is a native of Ecuador and had been deported from the United States in either 2008 or 2009, but somehow managed to return to the U.S., Modica said.
A court clerk said a not-guilty plea was entered at her arraignment. Modica said the case will go to a Rockland County grand jury.
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