WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman who left her newborn baby in front of a Planned Parenthood office has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, 11 years after the infant’s body was found in a plastic tub.
Jennifer McMillan Crow pleaded guilty in front of a Forsyth County judge on Thursday, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. She said she never even knew that her infant daughter had died until police questioned her years later.
Forsyth Superior Court Judge David Hall gave Crow an active 60-day jail sentence to be served in July 2022 and a suspended sentence of between one year and two years. Hall also placed Crow, who had no previous criminal record, on supervised probation for five years.
Court records indicate Crow gave birth to a premature baby alone in her bathtub in 2010, then dressed the baby in a onesie, wrapped her in blankets and put her in a container. The baby was discovered on Sept. 11, 2010, by a Winston-Salem police officer called to the Planned Parenthood office over concerns about threats to the building by anti-abortion protesters.
No one claimed the child for the next 10 years, and she became known as “Therese, the Little Flower,” named after Saint Therese, a French nun who loved nature and flowers and died from tuberculosis at age 24 in 1897. The girl was buried in September 2010 at a funeral attended by more than 100 people.
Crow was arrested in March after police last year had fingerprints from a baby bottle put through a new data system.
Jennifer R. Martin, Crow’s attorney, said her client could not afford prenatal care and acted out of desperation.
Hall said Crow was criminally culpable because she didn’t seek prenatal care and she didn’t call 911, which she could have done anonymously.