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Law Enforcement:

Woman, 18, accused of trying to kill newborn baby

Updated Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | 8:11 p.m.

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Sarah White

An 18-year-old woman has been charged with the attempted murder of her newborn after police say she allegedly tried to dispose of the baby.

Sarah White of Henderson is charged with attempted murder, and child abuse and neglect after she delivered the baby in a bathtub and put it in a plastic bag, according to an arrest report.

Police said paramedics responded to the house in the 200 block of Camino Vista Street on April 3 to reports that a woman had given birth to a baby in an upstairs bathroom. The location of the home is near the intersection of Arroyo Grande Boulevard and Horizon Ridge Parkway.

Her father, a trained paramedic, was performing CPR on the infant when officials arrived, police said.

The baby was taken to St. Rose Sienna Hospital in stable but serious condition, according to the arrest report.

Medical personnel said the baby suffered from hypothermia and had an infection. The infant’s breathing had to be assisted by a respirator, the report said.

White also was taken to the hospital. Hospital staff contacted Henderson Police and Child Protective Services to say White might have tried to conceal her pregnancy, according to the arrest report.

During an interview with detectives, White said she didn’t think she was pregnant because a pregnancy test she had taken in August 2009 came back negative, police said. She said her menstrual cycle stopped in July 2009, police said.

She said she realized she was pregnant in March but didn’t tell anybody, the police report said. Detectives asked what she planned to do when she finally had the baby. White responded, “I don’t know,” police said.

On April 3, while her mother was away from the house, White said, she knew she was about give birth and went looking for scissors to cut the umbilical cord, police said. She found two knives in the kitchen and went to the upstairs bathroom, police said.

She got into the bathtub and gave birth to the baby, which she said she heard cry, police said.

White placed the knives and the baby in a plastic bag, the report said.

She reportedly told officers she was holding the baby to her chest when her father found her.

Her mother told investigators the baby was in a the plastic bag when she entered the bathroom, police said. The infant looked purple in color and didn’t appear to be breathing, police said.

White is scheduled to appear in Henderson Justice Court at 9:30 a.m. on July 1.

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