Las Vegas Sun

July 17, 2019

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Hearing delayed for teen accused of suffocating newborn

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Carmela Camero

The preliminary hearing for a 19-year-old Henderson woman accused of suffocating her newborn son in her home has been postponed until next month because an autopsy report hasn’t been completed.

The hearing for Carmela Camero, who police say killed her newborn son at her home on Desert Pond Avenue, near Horizon Ridge Parkway and Paradise Hills Drive, was scheduled for this morning. At the request of her attorney, the preliminary hearing was rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 21 in Henderson Justice Court.

Henderson Police arrested Camero Aug. 26 after she called St. Rose Dominican Hospital and said she delivered a baby, who stopped breathing. Police began investigating after the hospital alerted them to Camero’s call.

Throughout the investigation, police reports indicate that Camero changed her story several times. The discrepancies in her story led police to believe she hid her pregnancy, delivered the baby in her bathtub herself and suffocated him, according to documents.

Camero remains in the Henderson Detention Center. Today, her attorney, deputy public defender Andrea Luem, requested Camero be released into her parents’ custody and placed on house arrest.

“We have a girl who has been sitting in custody for three weeks,” Luem said. “She’s an average college student with no criminal history at all.”

Henderson Justice of the Peace Rodney Burr declined but granted Luem’s request for a continuance.

“He hasn’t heard all the evidence,” Luem said. “It’s unfortunate (he declined release) but I’m not surprised.”

Prosecutor Vicki Monroe said she had been prepared to proceed with some witnesses today, including Camero’s mother, stepfather and a detective.

“We were ready with witnesses and the public defender knew that yesterday,” Monroe said.

Luem said she hadn’t yet received all the reports from prosecutors and didn’t wish to continue until she had a chance to review them, she said.

A status check on the autopsy report is scheduled for Sept. 30.

According to arrest records, Camero, who lived with her mother and stepfather, feared her mother would be angry with her for having a baby without being married. She was also afraid her mother would throw her out of the house and she and the baby boy would live in poverty, the report said.

Police have also said that when Camero was 16, she gave birth at the Mirage while she was vacationing with her family from Reno. Police said the baby was stillborn, and no charges were filed. She wrapped the body in towels and left the baby in a hotel trash bin, authorities said.

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