A South Carolina woman allegedly threw her newborn in the trash, aided by the baby’s grandmother, after giving birth during a break at the restaurant where she works, police said.
The baby fell out of the garbage bag and later died at a hospital, Greenville Police Department Officer Johnathan Bragg told InsideEdition.com Wednesday.
Estela Ruiz-Gomez, 19, has been charged with murder or homicide by child abuse. Her mother, Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez, 41, was charged with abetting a murder or homicide by child abuse.
Both are being held without bond at an ICE detention center, police said. Ruiz-Gomez was ordered deported last year, but did not leave, Bragg said.
The women originally told investigators that Ruiz-Gomez gave birth on July 12 in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant where they both work. The younger woman busses tables and Rodriquez is a dishwasher.
An autopsy later revealed gravel and dirt on the baby’s body, and the coroner said the infant’s death was homicide.
The child still had a heartbeat when paramedics arrived, Bragg said.
Days later, investigators questioned employees at the restaurant, including Ruiz-Gomez’s boyfriend, the baby’s father.
Another worker told investigators that she emptied the bathroom garbage, but it was heavier than usual and she had to drag it across the parking lot, according to Bragg.
“The trash bag split and the baby fell out,” he said. The infant’s father ran outside and scooped up the baby, taking it to the women in the bathroom and calling 911 for help.
The mother “claimed she thought the baby was dead,” Bragg said.
Police are still interviewing workers and additional charges may be filed against them, he said, citing "false statements" employees gave on the day of the infant’s death.
Bragg said police did not know why Ruiz-Gomez was ordered deported in 2016.