An Alabama mother was charged with manslaughter — after her newborn baby was found dead inside a shoebox in her car’s trunk.
Jalesa Gaines, 23, of McIntosh, was pulled over on Highway 43 in Jackson, Ala., in November for expired plates. When police questioned the young mother of four, she gave a false name.
The officer then searched her car and discovered a shoebox in the trunk — with her week-old baby boy dead inside. The newborn was wrapped in a blanket.
Gaines’ family and neighbors said she had given birth to him a week earlier — though no one claimed to know how he died.
The results of an autopsy are due to be released imminently, but investigators said the sick mom showed some remorse but “not to the degree we’d expect.”
When taken into custody, Gaines had very little to tell authorities.
“She hasn’t said a whole lot as far as what may have happened to the baby,” said Jackson Police Chief Jerry Taylor, adding she only revealed she was “on her way to Walmart” when the baby died.
Officers are looking into whether anyone else should face charges, claiming there may have been witnesses to the child’s death.
“We have a baby who never had the chance to speak for themselves, so we’re having to speak for him,” noted Taylor. “We take that very seriously.”
Gaines initially was charged with abuse of a corpse. The charge was then upgraded to manslaughter.
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