The mother of a newborn baby found dead in an abandoned cardboard box in an empty Wisconsin field earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the death.
Santos Asucena Caseres Cruz was arrested last week and charged with one count each of neglecting a child resulting in death and moving, hiding or burying a child’s corpse, according to court documents obtained by Law&Crime.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, Whitewater Police Department officers responded around 11 a.m. March 4 to a report of a dead baby at Twin Oaks Trailer Park, about 55 miles north. west of Milwaukee. Authorities found a cardboard box about five meters from the roadway. Inside were a black garbage bag, a piece of red cloth, and the remains of the newborn.
Investigators said the cloth the baby was wrapped in was a bloodstained shirt, according to the affidavit. The baby’s umbilical cord was still attached, and police say he still had “birth blood ruminants on his body”.
An autopsy could not immediately determine the cause of death.
The box was sent to a crime lab for analysis. Investigators created an image of the shipping label with a visible address using forensic imaging. The address was traced to an individual, identified in the document as “Witness 1”.
During a police interview on March 24, Witness 1 said his father told him he believed Witness 1’s mother – Cruz – had had an affair and became pregnant by a man who did not was not Witness 1’s father. Witness 1 testified that his father believed that his mother then had an abortion.
Investigators then interviewed Cruz, who said “she was not pregnant and did not hide a newborn baby in a field,” the complaint states.
“She said she would never do that to a baby,” the document reads. “She said the accusations of her ex-husband, who was violent, were false.”
Cruz provided a mouth swab and allegedly allowed police to search his car and residence.
Another of Cruz’s children, “Witness 2,” told police that his mother was in the bathroom for a long time on January 27 due to stomach pains.
Witness 2 said there was so much blood she thought her mother had hemorrhaged.
In another interview with Cruz, she would have admitted that she had been pregnant and would have hidden the pregnancy from her family because the father of the child was not her husband. She thought her family would cut off all contact with her if she learned the truth.
“When her baby was born, he must have been alive, and she did nothing, so he could have died,” the complaint reads. “After the baby was born, he started to turn purple. First his face started to turn purple, then as the night went on, his body, then his arms and hands. She never helped the baby She didn’t call 911 because she was afraid her children would find out she was pregnant.
She then hid the baby in the box under the sink cabinet, picked him up around 4:30 a.m., and dropped him off at a trailer park about half an hour later.
She added that she “checked the box every day and cried”.
Cruz was arrested and her bond was $10,000. She is due to appear in court again for a preliminary hearing on April 4.
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