Authorities found the remains of a newborn girl abandoned in a field in Anderson County, South Carolina, on Jan. 9.
The placenta and umbilical cord were still attached to the baby, Greenville Online reported. Joanie Faith Holcombe, the infant’s 23-year-old mother, allegedly put the baby in a plastic bag on Dec. 13, causing the infant to suffocate.
Between that time and Jan. 9, she reportedly moved the baby’s body into field and left it near some abandoned trailers, Greenville Online reported in a separate story.
"There was a plastic bag nearby,” Chief Deputy Coroner Charlie Boseman said before the infant’s mother was identified. "We think maybe the afterbirth was in the bag and had been pulled off by an animal."
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Holcombe has been charged with murdering her daughter and unauthorized removal of a dead body from where it was found. Investigators said Holcombe admitted to the murder and burial when questioned, but her motives have not been disclosed.
"I don't know this young mother's exact situation but I do know that others who find themselves with an unwanted newborn have viable options,” Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said in a statement. Skipper went on to suggest the use of Safe Haven laws.
Every state has some variation of the law, which typically allows mothers of babies up to 30 days old to leave them at a police station, fire station or hospital with no questions asked.