Jani Morris

Girl, 15, charged with murder of newborn found in trash, wrapped in plastic bags

A 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl was charged as an adult for the murder of her newborn son—who was reportedly found inside a trash bag on New Year’s Eve.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that police arrested Jani Morris after her newborn son was discovered among a pile of trash bags in Philadephia on Monday night. She’s currently facing multiple charges, including murder, child endangerment, possession of an instrument of crime, and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities got involved after a 40-year-old woman reportedly flagged down officers, claiming she discovered a newborn boy that her daughter’s friend placed in the dumpster. The woman and newborn were taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:37 p.m., according to the newspaper.

WXTF reported that Morris possibly gave birth at the home she shares with her mother; police alleged that the teen and mother were home upon their arrival.

A local resident, Diane Byrd, told The Inquirer that she was heading to midnight Mass on Monday when she encountered a woman frantically looking for help.

“She stopped in the street and was saying could someone help her find this baby, her daughter put it in the trash,” the resident revealed.

Disputing reports of a dumpster, Byrd claimed the newborn was found inside a trash bag, wrapped in smaller plastic bags. Byrd said the woman put the baby in the back seat of her car and drove off as she and other bystanders attempted to call police and were unable to get through.

KYW reported that the newborn’s cause of death was asphyxiation.

“The presumption is that the baby was born alive, we are operating under that presumption,” Philadephia police Captain Sekou Kinebrew told the news outlet.

Kinebrew indicated that the teen is cooperating with police and that they’re working to ascertain where Morris gave birth and whether anyone was home with her at the time. However, WCAU reported that investigators believe the teen gave birth to a live boy in a bathroom.

The police captain said, “It’s a tragic set of circumstances all around.”

[Featured image: Jani Morris/Philadelphia Police Department]