A pair of young parents faced criminal charges after they tried to hide the death of the baby born inside the woman's college dorm in North Carolina.
Olivia Billington, 21, and Alex Holden Best, 19, were under investigation with the High Point Police following the discovery of a baby's body buried outside a shallow grave near a house in Iredell County.
According to the police statement, Billington gave birth on September 4 inside her dorm room at High Point University, but the mother nor the infant did not have any medical treatment. Two days later, Best transported his dead infant son's body to his home, where he was "secretly" buried.
An autopsy report from the North Carolina Baptist Hospital to confirm the cause of death is still pending. Initial findings from the medical examiners show it's still inconclusive.
Arrest of the Parents
Following the discovery of the infant's body, the police arrested Best in September, but he got off jail time by posting a $10,000 bail. On the other hand, Billington turned herself in after a month, and her bail was set at $50,000. Authorities have charged the couple for concealment of death though reports cited that they are cooperative with the investigators.
The Iredell County Sheriff's Office received a tip about the baby's body and contacted the High Point Police Department Special Victims Unit. The investigators found the baby's remains contained in a small storage box with some blankets.
High Point University confirmed that the mother attends the institution and issued a statement sending their thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this unfortunate circumstance.
"That's just such a travesty, you know, it's just heartbreaking, it truly is, for the child and the folks involved in it," one local said. Another resident said that had the young parents thought and called for help, their situation could turn out differently.
If convicted, the couple might face prison time for four to 25 months at the Tarheel State prison. It's unclear, however, if both defendants would enter a guilty plea.
Did Mom Lack Prenatal Care?
While the investigations didn't indicate if Billington received prenatal care, studies have shown that a lack of check-ups during the pregnancy could raise the risk of neonatal death by 40 percent. If the baby survives birth, the first 27 days of his life will be very crucial.
Studies have also shown that at least 47 percent of mothers shun prenatal care based on their personal preferences, beliefs, and convictions. Other parents may be hard-pressed to go to the doctor due to financial constraints.
Prenatal visits are done once a month during the first 28 weeks of the pregnancy; then, it gradually increases to twice a month between weeks 28 to 36. In the final month of the pregnancy, mothers need to go to their doctor every week. Other cases, however, may require frequent visits if the mother has health issues or pregnancy complications.
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