Police investigation: Baby seen dead inside purse after mother gives birth at park

Jefferson Park in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, hours after a woman gave birth in a restroom at the park. The baby is dead, but it's unclear if the baby was alive when the birth occurred. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Police are investigating the death of a fetus.

Police said a baby is dead after a 29-year-old woman gave birth early Wednesday morning in a Jefferson Park restroom.

According to police, the woman was not full term in her pregnancy. It's unclear if the baby was alive or dead when the birth took place.

Police said at this point it is unclear if the woman suffered from a miscarriage or if the baby was killed.

"After she gave birth, she placed the fetus in her purse," police Sgt. Ryan Kroeker said.

Police said the woman then walked a few blocks away from the park to a house on Goodman Street.

Theresa Murphy said that is her house and that she knows the woman.

"We've known her for a while," Murphy said. "She comes in and out, and she's homeless."

Murphy said her sister and daughter came in contact with the woman.

"She started confiding in my daughter, and the next thing we knew she asked my daughter if she wanted to see the baby," Murphy said.

Murphy said it was clear to her sister and daughter that the baby was dead inside of the purse, and the woman was "laughing and smiling like it was just another day."

Murphy's sister called 911. The mother was taken to a local hospital.

"I don't even know who she's pregnant by. She didn't show any signs of being pregnant," Murphy said. "I just hope she gets the help she needs."

Kroeker said they believe the woman knew she was pregnant.

The coroner's office will be examining the fetus and will also be conducting an investigation.

At this point, we do not know if the woman will face any charges.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call Detective Jeff Paglia (661) 326-3556.

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