An 18-year-old Brooklyn woman returning with her sister from a trip to Jamaica has been identified as the mother of the premature newborn found dead inside an airplane toilet at LaGuardia Airport — and could have been the victim of a botched abortion in the Caribbean, officials said.
The teen, who checked in to Kings County Hospital after giving birth, claimed she never knew she was pregnant when she rushed into the bathroom of an American Airlines plane after it landed at the Queens airport about 10:45 p.m. Monday.
“She pulled the baby out and put it in the toilet and covered it with paper,” a law enforcement source said.
The woman told investigators she hadn’t been feeling well for days but showed little emotion, the source said.
“It was like talking to a stone wall,” the source said.
A cleaning crew for Airway Cleaners found the baby’s body in a middle bathroom as the plane sat outside an American Airlines airplane hanger about 6 a.m. Tuesday. The baby appeared to have been born three months prematurely.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the baby’s death could be the result of a “botched abortion” in Jamaica, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case said. The teen had visited a clinic in the Caribbean nation before flying back to the U.S.
No charges have been filed against the teen as investigators await autopsy results which will show if the baby was born alive or dead.
Sources said the teen, her sister, and other relatives had flown from Jamaica to Charlotte, N.C., to make a connecting flight to New York.
Members of the flight crew noticed that the teen was not feeling well and that she had rushed to the bathroom as most of the passengers were disembarking.
After the baby was later found, the flight crew told investigators about the sick passenger, who was identified by her seating assignment.
Port Authority detectives located her at Kings County Hospital late Tuesday afternoon.
The investigation remains open until the autopsy is concluded, officials said.
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