Woman charged after dead baby found in suitcase in doghouse
A woman was arrested after her infant’s skeletal remains were found hidden in a suitcase inside a doghouse, police said.
Jessica Lynn Weeks was charged Sept. 22, months after her baby’s remains were found.
The Bannock Sheriff’s Department in Idaho was tipped off June 5 a “deceased infant [was] possibly going to be located in a piece of luggage near the doghouse in the back of the residence” near the town of Downey, Idaho, East Idaho News reported.
The tipster’s son, who is incarcerated, told inquiring officers Weeks was the baby’s mother and that she “didn’t want to go to the hospital to deliver the baby due to her drug use,” according to court documents reviewed by the outlet.
The inmate said another woman had helped Weeks deliver the baby at her home, and that a second inmate had witnessed the baby inside a suitcase after the birth.
The second inmate, whose relationship to Weeks is unclear, confirmed that he was in the house in January and that he saw Weeks place a purple suitcase inside a doghouse.
Several months later, he said, “an infant’s leg … flopped onto his arm” while he was cleaning around the suitcase. He said that the dead baby was wrapped in black plastic and that he “never went back” to the home.
Law enforcement learned of warrants for Weeks’ arrest in Franklin County for possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and intent to deliver methamphetamine and obtained a warrant of their own to search her property on the 3400 block of East Highway 40 June 5.
Officers wrote that they smelled the “odor of decomposition” coming from Weeks’ backyard before they found the doghouse containing the “purple carry-on style suitcase.”
Inside, wrapped in a “blueish baby blanket,” were the newborn’s skeletal remains, police said.
Testing completed Aug. 16 revealed amphetamines and methamphetamines in the baby’s system. The child was between 36 and 40 weeks old at the time of death, per the autopsy, and showed no signs of bodily trauma, per the outlet.
Weeks was reportedly found hiding in a nearby shed and taken into custody.
A text message sent days before the child was born, recovered from Weeks’ phone, allegedly said, “Idek wtf to do bro… and if they turn me in at the hospital, I’m f—– going to prison probably cuz I have warrants…,” the East Idaho News reported.
Officers tracked down the friend who helped Weeks deliver the baby.
Weeks had “insisted on stopping and having a cigarette” during birth, the woman said, and was “not really showing any interest in [the baby].”
The friend was reportedly “very emotional in her describing attempting to clear [the baby’s] airway and provide rescue breaths.” She “felt what she wanted to believe was a pulse, but wasn’t sure,” per court documents reviewed by the outlet.
The friend said she put a diaper on the infant and placed the baby in the suitcase because there was “no other flat surface in the house to place the baby.” Deputies described “an extreme amount of clutter everywhere” on the property.
The friend said she told Weeks and the baby’s father they needed to report the infant’s death and that she believed “funeral homes would provide free preparation for the infant’s burial arrangements.”
The apparent father of the baby told police he did not know Weeks was pregnant, had delivered a baby in the house or had hidden the baby’s corpse on her property.
Cheek swabs from Weeks and the man confirmed that they were the infant’s parents.
Neither the friend nor the baby’s father are facing charges.
Weeks was initially arrested on her outstanding warrant, then charged with the felonies of injury to a child, failure to notify a death and concealment of evidence on Sept. 22, per online jail records. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 5, and her bond is set at $50,000.