BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Police say that a woman left her baby to die after giving birth in the shower.
Maria Castillo gave birth to a baby girl on April 28 while in the shower before placing her in a trash bag, hidden under a pile of clothes in her room, Bay 9 News reported.
According to police, the 27-year-old woman’s family made the discovery hours later and called authorities. At that point, it was too late to save the baby.
Castillo was charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child.
The baby’s cause of death was listed as asphyxiation, hemorrhage and inattention at birth, Tampa Bay Times reported.
“It’s a very gruesome, hard-to-understand crime,” Brooksville Police Chief George Turner told the Tampa Bay Times.
Castillo told police that she didn’t know she was pregnant. Her family members also didn’t know she was pregnant either. Her brother discovered what happened after trying to take a shower in the apartment that is shared with their mother.
“I was really shocked,” neighbor Bertha Brown told Bay 9 News. “I just really don’t see her as knowing what actually happened.”
Neighbors believe that Castillo has a mental disability and feel sympathetic for her.
“My heart goes out for her, because I don’t think she was aware of the seriousness of really being pregnant,” Brown said.
Police want her to pay the consequences because she was aware of what she did. But Brown thinks that a judge should show some leniency.
“Put her somewhere where she can be taken care of,” Brown shared. “You know, give her help.”
It took a medical examiner roughly two months to conclude that the baby had been born alive and that led to her arrest.
Castillo is being held on $30,000 bond at the Hernando County Jail and will see a judge on Thursday.
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