Newborn rescued from trash critical; charges mulled
Detectives and prosecutors are jointly reviewing possible charges against a Kearns woman who allegedly admitted to tossing her newborn baby girl in the trash in hopes it would die.
The unnamed infant remained in critical condition at Primary Children’s Medical Center, but Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said on Friday night that she was now stable and showing signs of improvement.
She was rushed to the hospital at 7 a.m. Tuesday after being discovered stuffed in a garbage can near 5300 South and 5200 West.
Arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail hours after the discovery was Alicia Marie Englert, 23. She remained behind bars Friday in lieu of $250,000 bail on suspicion of second-degree felony attempted homicide.
Unified Police investigators say Englert waived her Miranda rights and confessed to putting the child, believed born in secret late Sunday night or early Monday morning, in the trash. UPD would not say exactly where the birth took place, but Englert had been living with her parents in their Kearns home, near the trash can.
Still, formal charges have not been quickly forthcoming.
Englert’s father, Robert Englert, has insisted his daughter — whose pregnancy was unknown to her family — is developmentally disabled and may not understand the gravity of her actions.
UPD, however, says it has found no medical evidence for Englert — who graduated high school, maintains social media accounts and held a job with a car rental agency — was mentally incompetent.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, while not directly saying the suspect’s competency was being explored, did hint to The Tribune that aspects of the case may be proving complicated.
"We have certainly been in contact with Unified Police investigators on this, but nothing final has been decided at this point," he said, noting that detectives were still in preliminary stages of preparing recommendations for charges to be considered by the district attorney’s screening team.
Englert’s neighbors told police that they heard what sounded like a kitten crying from the trash can on Tuesday, and when they investigated found the child. UPD said it appeared the child had received no care of any kind since its birth.
"[Englert] said she discarded the baby in hopes that it would die and solve her problems," a probable cause statement filed by UPD claims.
The baby has been placed in the protective custody of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.