Alabama Teen Gave Birth in Bedroom Then Disposed of Her Healthy Newborn in a Trash Compactor, Police Say

Jakayla Williams
Jakyla Williams (left) disposed of her newborn baby in a trash compactor says Dothan Police Chief Williams Benny (right).Dothan PD

Jakayla Williams, 18, made no mention of the newborn to her family, who were unaware that Williams had given birth until 10 days later on Aug. 23, said Chief William Benny at a news conference.

An Alabama teenager is charged with capital murder and could possibly face the death penalty if convicted after police say she confessed to throwing her newborn child in a trash compactor.

Jakayla Williams, 18, gave birth to a baby on Aug. 13 in her bedroom at around 7:30 a.m., according to Chief William Benny of the Dothan Police Department.

She made no mention of the newborn to her family, who were unaware that Williams had given birth until 10 days later on Aug. 23, said Benny at a news conference.

Once her family learned this, Williams claimed that she had dropped the baby off at a local hospital after giving birth according to Benny.

"That’s when the family of the female became concerned and wanted to recover the newborn child," Benny said in a news release. "The female and family members went to Southeast Health [on Aug. 24] attempting to find the person the newborn child was given to because that is what they were led to believe by the female."

No one had dropped off a baby on the day in question however, and the hospital then contacted the Dothan Police Department, said Benny.

Benny and his officers reviewed hospital tape to confirm Williams did not make an appearance and then took the teenager in for questioning.

"When presented with the fact we had proven she never took the newborn child to the hospital as she claimed, she told investigators she had taken the newborn child and wrapped him in a blanket and placed it into a trash dumpster at an apartment complex on the west side of town," said Benny. "She stated when she placed the newborn child in the dumpster, he was still alive."

Benny said that the police department then seized the dumpster, where officers discovered "the remains of a newborn child were located wrapped in a mattress protector that was in a zipped-up duffel bag."

Russ Goodman, the district attorney for Alabama's 20th Circuit, will be prosecuting the case.

He appeared alongside Benny at the initial news conference after Williams' arrest, where he applauded the work of law enforcement and said that his office had not yet decided if they would seek the death penalty.

Benny also said at that conference that this case has taken a toll on a number of his officers.

"I've never even heard of something so horrific is this," Benny said. "It shocks the mind socks the soul doesn't even really know what else to say."

The Alabama legislature banned nearly all abortions in the state in a 2019 trigger law that went into effect after the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization last year.

Alabama does have a safe haven law that allows a parent to surrender a newborn who is 72 hours old or younger to any hospital with an operating emergency department.

Court records do not list an attorney for Williams at this time and she has yet to enter a plea in the case.

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