Court docs: Baby found in trash can had toilet paper wrapped around neck
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 6, 2014) – An Indianapolis woman accused of giving birth and then leaving the newborn in a trash can at work faces several charges, including attempted murder.
Briana Holland, 22, appeared in a Marion County courtroom Wednesday to hear the charges against her. According to court documents, Holland faces six counts: attempted murder, battery resulting in serious injury to a person under 14 years of age and four counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury
Police arrested Holland after her baby boy was found in a trash can at United Technology Carrier Corporation Friday night.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, police responded to the business located at 7310 W. Morris St. Friday after a woman reported hearing a strange noise in the women’s bathroom. She thought an animal had gotten trapped in the trash can and was thrashing around.
She contacted a maintenance worker and told him what she’d heard. The worker checked the trash can and saw a baby inside. The “lower half of the baby was put in a brown paper bag” and the “baby’s head was inside in another brown paper bag.” The bags are used to dispose of sanitary napkins.
According to court documents, the baby had toilet paper wrapped tightly around his neck. “The toilet tissue was wrapped approximately 15 times” around, court documents said. The baby also had tissue and a plastic tampon applicator in his mouth. The baby’s face was “purple and the body was very cold.” The newborn was gasping for air and stopped breathing.
The maintenance worker revived the baby and wrapped him inside his safety vest to keep the newborn warm. He also pinched the umbilical cord to keep it from bleeding until he could get something to tie it off. The baby later went to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and was last listed in good condition.
Detectives learned that Holland was pregnant and may have been responsible. They questioned her about the incident, and Holland admitted she was pregnant and had recently broken up with the baby’s father.
While working Friday, she said her stomach started to hurt and she went to the bathroom, where she gave birth. She said she put the baby in the trash can because she didn’t know what to do with him.
Holland told detectives she was “scared because she was young, in college and didn’t know how to pay for the baby.” She hadn’t visited a doctor, she said. After giving birth, she “wanted to hurry up and get back to her work station because someone else was doing her job.”
The following is an exchange between Holland and an investigator:
Detective: There is no way that the baby put that stuff in his mouth on his own.
Holland: I didn’t say anybody did that either.
Detective: How did it happen?
Holland: Maybe something was in the trash can. I wasn’t really paying attention. I was…
Detective: What did you put in his mouth?
Holland: I didn’t put anything in his mouth. All I was worried about was getting it in the trash can and covering it up before anybody…
Detective: “What did you think would happen to the baby?
Holland: I know what the results would probably be. It would probably die.
Detective: Is that what you wanted to happen?
Holland: I mean…I was confused. I didn’t know what I wanted to happen.
Detective: But you (knew) the baby would die?
Holland: Mmmmm. Hmmmm.
Detective: You were cool with that?
Holland: I’m never cool with anyone dying. I wasn’t expecting it to live. I threw it in the can.
Detective: Did you put the baby in there for a specific purpose for….You said that you would have assumed the baby would die, correct?
Holland: I mean, yeah. I assumed that’s what would have happened. That baby was put in there for hours.
Detective: So you knew that when you did that, so when you put him in there, that you took the assumption that the baby would probably die where you put him, correct?
Detectives said Holland never called for help. She had a cell phone. Her twin sister and stepfather both work at the factory, but she never asked them for help, police said. The facility also has a medical facility. She could have had her sister drive her to the hospital or driven herself, police said.
Instead, she gave birth and went back to work. The detective noted that the Wayne Township Fire Department is right across the street. Holland could’ve dropped the baby off there without any consequences because of the Safe Haven Law.
When police interviewed the father of the baby, he said he found out about what happened on Twitter. He said he contacted Riley Hospital to check on the newborn.
He told investigators they’d discussed giving the baby up for adoption and said Holland had been overwhelmed by the pregnancy and had showed signs of depression.
The baby weighed in at 7.9 pounds and measured 20.1 inches. A doctor at Riley said leaving him in the trash can would’ve “killed him with absolute certainty.” The baby would’ve died had it not been for the intervention of other people.
The doctor also said the baby couldn’t have placed items in his mouth on his own. He had bruising around his neck consistent with strangulation. The bruising couldn’t have been from coughing or crying, the doctor said.