New Holland woman arrested, jailed in baby’s death

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A New Holland woman charged in the death of her baby girl has been released from a hospital and jailed in Lancaster County Prison.

Marie Guepsie Lavaud, 30, was taken into custody after she was released from the hospital Thursday and arraigned on charges of concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse, according to New Holland police.

Her bail was set at $150,000 cash. A preliminary hearing was scheduled August 13.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to Lavaud’s East Jackson Street apartment Sunday night after she told another woman, “I had a miscarriage and put the baby in the freezer.”The woman told officers that she and others checked the freezer and did not find the baby, but could see that Lavaud was no longer pregnant.

When a police officer asked Lavaud about the baby, she said, “I got rid of it” and made a waving motion with her hand. When the officer asked her what “got rid of it” meant, Lavaud said: “It’s not important. The baby is gone,” according to the complaint.

The baby’s body was not found at the home, so officers seized all the trash and took it back to the police department. The deceased infant was found in one of three trash bags removed from the front porch, police said in the complaint.

Police said the investigation revealed Lavaud likely gave birth last Wednesday after carrying the baby for 28-34 weeks.

An autopsy Monday was unable to determine if the child was born alive.

Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni has said the baby likely would have been too premature to survive without hospital care.

He added there were no signs of trauma on the body.

The cause and manner of death are pending further tests.


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