Mom of baby found in cemetery flowerpot charged with capital murder
CARROLLTON, Texas - Police have arrested the mother of a newborn baby whose body was found buried in a Carrollton cemetery flowerpot.
A caretaker at Perry Cemetery on Perry Road found the baby girl's body on March 11. He reportedly spotted a flowerpot that was out of place and discovered her buried beneath the soil in the pot.
The baby's mother, 18-year-old Jazmin Lopez of Dallas, came forward to police after seeing the story reported on the news. She was arrested Tuesday and is now facing a capital murder charge.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lopez originally told officers that she was home alone when she gave birth and that the little girl was not moving or breathing.
But investigators found a picture of what appeared to be a living baby on her cellphone. They also found text messages and search history suggesting she considered abortion in the middle of her pregnancy.
When interviewed again, police said Lopez changed her story. She told detectives that she gave birth in a bathroom while her father, grandmother and uncle were home.
"Jazmin demonstrated that she took her shirt off and wrapped the baby up. Jazmin said the baby was moving and gasping for air. Jazmin said she knew the baby was about to cry so she covered her mouth. Jazmin said she took the shirt and covered the baby's face and then held the baby against her body for one to two minutes," the affidavit states.
Later, the young mother said she put her daughter in a basket of blankets in her closet until a friend arrived. Then she put her in a backpack to leave the apartment.
"Jazmin said when she got down to her friend's vehicle she knew for sure that the baby was no longer alive. Jazmin stated, 'She wasn't moving like she was before,'" police said in the arrest warrant affidavit.
Lopez told police she and her friend bought a flower pot at Home Depot. They placed the baby's body inside and then filled it with soil and flowers. They dropped it off at the cemetery the next day.
Although she maintains that she was only trying to keep the baby quiet so that no one at home found out about her, police believe Lopez had no plans to care for the infant. She had no baby items in her home and did not seek any medical help for the little girl, the police document states.
Lopez is now being held at the Dallas County jail with a $500,000 bond.
The medical examiner determined her daughter was born between 34 weeks and full term. She weighed just under 6 pounds and still had an umbilical cord attached.