South Carolina police arrested a woman after she gave birth last week to a newborn in her car and sought medical care for her own bleeding afterwards — but failed to get medical attention for the baby, who died, according to authorities.
According to a press release from the Lexington County Sheriff, 21-year-old Brennan Hailey Geller, of Lexington, left her newborn to die in a trash bag on the floorboard of her vehicle as she drove home after the delivery Friday evening. She then drove to a local hospital the following day.
“We became aware of this tragic case after Geller was treated at the hospital Saturday morning for blood loss,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “The medical team caring for Geller told investigators she never told them the baby was in her car.”
Police say the baby was found deceased in the suspect’s car “several hours later.” Geller was subsequently arrested Monday on charges of homicide by child abuse.
The suspect is currently behind bars at the Lexington County Detention Center without bail, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said in the press release, adding that a bond hearing is pending. The date for the hearing is not yet known.
According to South Carolina law, Geller could face a sentence of 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
The state has a Baby Safe Haven law in place to prevent such tragedies from occuring.
“You can leave your baby, up to 30 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station or any worship center in South Carolina,” the law code reads.
Those in need of assistance with a newborn baby are urged to call a confidential hotline at 1-888-510-BABY.
[Feature photo: Brennan Geller, Lexington County Sheriff’s Office]