A 19-year-old college student in Kansas has been charged with first-degree murder after her infant child’s lifeless body was found in a box in her garage.
The baby was discovered by Marissa Carol Fields’ father in December after he noticed a strange smell lingering throughout the Olathe home, Fox 4 KC reported. Police told the news station that Fields admitted to giving birth to the child last year.
“Police were called, people talked, autopsy is done they maintain the baby was born alive,” said Carl Cornwell, Fields’ attorney. “She cries a lot and she’s just in an emotional upheaval.”
Cornwell went on to defend his client.
"When you have kids, they're just kids,” Cornwell told KCTV 5. “They don't think like an adult."
Johnson County Prosecutor Stephen Howe was not convinced.
“If you have an unwanted child you can drop it off at the hospital or a fire station, so there are many opportunities for people to have an unwanted child be taken care of by someone else,” Howe said.
Fields enrolled at Wichita State College in fall 2014. Those who know Fields described her as a smart girl who wants to be a nurse. Neighbor Nick Pelaccio said he felt that Fields was afraid and did not have a support system.
“I think she just didn’t know what to do and has no one to turn to,” Pelaccio told Fox 4 KC. “I don’t know why else you would do that unless you didn’t know what to do with the baby.”
Fields has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated abandonment of a child. Her bail was set at $100,000 and she is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 20.