Eighteen-year-old Estela Ruiz-Gomez took a break during her shift at La Parilla Mexican Restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, due to a stomachache.
When she didn’t emerge from the bathroom when her break was up, a manager sent her mother, also employed by the restaurant, to check on her.
What transpired between the two while they were in the restroom is now the subject of an investigation.Screenshot/WLTX
As Fox Carolina reports, 39-year-old Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez returned from the bathroom saying her daughter needed to go to a hospital.
After both women emerged, another employee went into the facility to empty the trash, according to police. While the woman was taking the trash bag outside, she noticed that it felt heavier than usual.
As she dragged the bag outside across the pavement of the parking lot, it tore open and a newborn baby came tumbling out along with the debris.
According to WLOS, when first responders were called to the scene, Ruiz-Gomez, her mother, her boyfriend, and two other employees asserted that the young woman had just given birth to the baby inside the restaurant bathroom.
Although the baby had a heartbeat, he was sadly pronounced dead by the time first responders reached the hospital.
Greenville police detectives and forensic personnel were then called to the scene to investigate the newborn’s death.
An autopsy performed a day later could find no medical reason why the baby had died, prompting further investigation by the authorities. Dirt and gravel found on the newborn were also noted by the medical examiner, reports WLOS.
Continued questioning by authorities ultimately revealed a different version of events than what investigators had been previously told.
According to WLOS, two employees told investigators about the discovery of the baby when the trash bag, too heavy to lift by the person carrying it, was dragged across the parking lot, causing it to tear open.
The baby’s father, Ruiz-Gomez’s boyfriend who was present at the time, saw the bag break open and the baby fall out. He then reportedly picked the baby up and brought it inside the restaurant.
It was then that paramedics were called.
In light of the new allegations, Ruiz-Gomez and mom Rodriguez were arrested for child neglect.
Upon their arrest the women’s immigration status was placed under review, as it’s reported that Ruiz-Gomez failed to leave the United States in 2016 per an order by Homeland Security, according to Fox Carolina.
Now, Ruiz-Gomez and her mother are facing murder charges, as Greenville Police Department spokesman Johnathan Bragg said detectives were told had the baby not been placed in the trash bag he would have likely survived. His death is being ruled a homicide, reports WLTX.
Ruiz-Gomez is being charged with homicide by child neglect, and her mother is facing charges of aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.
They are both being held at the Greenville County Detention Center without bond.