A newborn baby was found alive in a bathroom trash can at an Indianapolis factory with toilet paper wrapped around his neck, and police say his mother left him there to die while she returned to work.
An employee at the factory alerted a maintenance worker after hearing what she thought was an animal moving in a bathroom trash can on August 1. When the worker investigated the source of the noise, he found a baby boy inside two brown paper bags.
The boy had toilet paper wrapped around his neck approximately 15 times and part of a plastic tampon applicator in his mouth, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Marion County Superior Court.
Court documents describe the child as purple and very cold. The worker wrapped him inside a safety vest to keep him warm until help arrived.
Investigators learned that 22-year-old factory employee Briana Holland had left her work station for an unusual amount of time to go to the bathroom that day and that she was possibly pregnant, according to the affidavit.
When questioned by a detective, Holland allegedly admitted to giving birth in the bathroom and leaving the baby in the trash can before returning to her station. However, the affidavit states she denied placing the baby in the paper bags and putting the tampon applicator in his mouth.
According to the affidavit, Holland said she had broken up with the baby’s father weeks earlier and she was scared because she was in college and did not know how she would pay for the baby.
Asked by a detective what she expected to happen to the baby after she left him, Holland allegedly said, “I know what the results would probably be. It would probably die.”
“I was confused. I didn’t know what I wanted to happen,” she told the detective, according to the affidavit.
“I’m never cool with anyone dying,” she allegedly said, but she added, “I wasn’t expecting it to live.”
The probable cause affidavit states that Holland did not seek help from relatives who worked at the factory or from the factory’s full medical staff. It also notes that the Wayne Township Fire Department is across the street and the baby could have been dropped off there with no consequences.
Holland’s boyfriend, the alleged father of the baby, told investigators that they learned she was pregnant in February or March but they did not get any prenatal care and hid the pregnancy from her family, according to the affidavit.
The boyfriend said Holland was depressed, having financial problems and was overwhelmed by the pregnancy. According to the affidavit, he said she had been indecisive about the possibility of giving the baby up for adoption or letting him raise it.
A doctor at Riley Children’s Hospital told police that the baby was 7.9 pounds and appeared to be full-term, but his body temperature was less than 87 degrees when he was brought to the emergency room. The doctor could not say how long the baby would have survived in the trash can, but she said leaving him there “would have killed him with absolute certainty without intervention.”
Holland was arrested on August 2 and charged with attempted murder, battery, neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury and three counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.
She made her first court appearance on Wednesday, where a judge entered a not guilty plea on her behalf and bond was set at $50,000. She remains in custody at the Marion County Jail.
Holland’s defense attorney did not return calls seeking comment on the case Friday.