A Pennsylvania couple was arrested last week in connection with January’s death of their newborn son, who was reportedly dead for three days before police discovered him.
Pennsylvania State troopers responded to Amy and Drew Hoenigke’s home in Sullivan County on January 20 and discovered their baby’s body. The Daily Beast reported that Amy, 31, informed cops their son was in a wooden bassinet upstairs, wrapped in a blanket and wearing a knit hat.
Amy allegedly called the police to notify them of her son’s death. Police said the boy’s body had started decomposing and Drew, 31, built a coffin for him. Drew claimed they could not bury him because the ground was frozen, according to the Daily Beast.
In a statement, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said the Hoenigkes did not seek help for the newborn when he struggled to breathe and turned blue. He died on January 17, two days after his birth.
A friend who was also charged in this case, Brigitte Meckes, 47, reportedly admitted to being present when the boy was born and trying to save his life. Meckes was said to have finished nursing school but does not hold a professional license.
Drew explained to The Daily Beast that they did not seek outside help — and waited three days to report his death — because they distrusted modern medicine. He allegedly also stated that they feared what would happen to their 2-year-old daughter.
“We got to the point where we knew we had to do something about this. We didn’t want to try to hide what happened and we knew we had to go through the process. But we were worried about our daughter and what would happen to her,” he told the news outlet.
Drew was reportedly not home when the newborn first showed signs of distress on January 16. However, Amy allegedly texted him about the baby “not getting enough oxygen.” Amy allegedly texted a friend every hour until her son’s heart stopped on January 17.
Police wrote that the couple also revealed “a prior birth of a fetus” which was buried behind Amy’s parents’ home. Investigators ultimately located those remains using a map Drew had drawn, according to The Daily Beast.
The Hoenigkes and Meckes are charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and endangering the welfare of children. Hoenigkes have been released from custody and are expected in court next year. The Daily Beast reported that their 2-year-old daughter is currently living with her grandparents.
Meckes remains jailed on a $150,000 bond.
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