Police say a Pennsylvania woman drove around with her newborn baby’s remains in a box for an entire day, after a night of smoking crack and heroin use.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Chesney Anne Wheeler, 38, of Old Lycoming Township, gave birth to a baby girl on April 13 at her home. She’s accused of putting the baby in a cardboard box and driving around with the box in the back seat for at least a day, before checking herself into the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Wheeler told police that she didn’t bring the baby to the hospital immediately because she was afraid they would find drugs in the infant’s system. She reportedly admitted that she used heroin and smoked crack cocaine on the night before the little girl was born. She also said she didn’t want to be pregnant and had no desire to be a mother to the baby.
“I wasn’t exactly thrilled at being pregnant, that’s the truth.”
According to the arrest affidavit, the baby was born around two months premature. Wheeler was arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence, obstruction of justice and flight to avoid apprehension. She’s also charged with abuse of a corpse since it’s still unclear whether the baby was born alive. An autopsy performed was inconclusive.
Wheeler claimed that after giving birth, she wrapped the baby in a blanket, then passed out. When she woke up, the baby was stiff, which convinced Wheeler that she was dead. The suspect put her baby in a cardboard box and placed the box in the backseat of the car. She then went to a drug treatment facility, then to a friend’s house, back to the drug treatment clinic, and then home, where she cleaned her bathroom and washed several towels.
Afterward, Wheeler drove to the hospital, left the newborn’s corpse in the car, and checked herself in, claiming she had a miscarriage. She told the hospital staff that she “flushed the fetus” down the toilet, but they became suspicious since she the doctor determined she would have been around 29 weeks pregnant. The staff called the police, who found the baby, already decomposing, inside Wheeler’s car.
Meanwhile, Wheeler’s husband, Richard H. Wheeler, 35, is also behind bars awaiting a court hearing for domestic assault. In January, he allegedly punched his wife in the mouth while she was at a friend’s house, then grabbed her by the hair, forced her into his car, and took her home. He’s charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of “aggravated assault on an unborn child.”
[Feature Photo: Old Lycoming PD]