Safe Haven law allows parents to 'leave' newborn at safe location


by Gene Kang

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 7:33 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A heartbreaking story as a mother is charged with murder after police said she left her newborn girl in a trash can at a Louisville department store.

Police arrested Jessica Price, 29, who was employed at Kohl’s department store. It happened last week in the store bathroom at the 11000 block of Standiford Plaza Drive.

The single mother from Shepherdsville killed the newborn girl, an "intentional act" according to a police report. It goes on to say she hid her pregnancy.
The child was found dead in a bathroom trash can by a co-worker.

"The baby was discovered when they exchanged the trash bag from one to another he discovered the baby in the bag," said Lt. Todd Kessinger with the LMPD Homicide Unit.

Police say she left work for two hours after giving birth then came back to finish her shift only to find police investigating the death. Detectives said she tried covering up everything by placing the body and other evidence in the garbage. They added charges of tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.

The exact cause of the baby girl's death yet unknown.

"We still have tests that are pending," said Lt. Kessinger.

Nobody was at the 400 block of Coral Ridge Road in Shepherdsville where Price lives. There’s no indication if she lived alone. WHAS 11 tried taking to neighbors but nobody was available for comment.

Disturbing accusations and alleged actions that could have been prevented.

In Kentucky, parents can leave their newborn, up to three-days-old, at several locations without being prosecuted, as long as the child is not abused or neglected.

In desperate situations they can do it anonymously. The locations include hospitals with emergency rooms, police stations and fire stations across Metro Louisville and surrounding counties.

In fact, Louisville established the first Safe Place fire station in the country in 1983 located at 3rd and Hill Street.

An option for troubled parents though authorities would prefer detailed background information about the child.

"We don't want anybody to come in and in the case of an infant for example we don't want anybody to just drop the baby off at the firehouse if the baby is hurt in places," Cpt. Salvador Melendez with Louisville Fire and Rescue said.