A 25-year-old mother who reportedly confessed to drowning her newborn son in a bathtub faces charges of second-degree murder.
Markiya Mitchell, of Rochester, New York, allegedly placed her 10-day-old son, Jeremiah, in 8 to 10 inches of water in her bathtub and left him there for an hour or two on Nov. 13, reports The Epoch Times.
Another adult in the home spotted the unresponsive infant and called 911. The baby was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Mitchell was taken into police custody after the baby was taken to the hospital. The mom reportedly "admitted to intentionally drowning the baby in the bathtub with the purpose of ending his life," Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said in a press release.
At her arraignment on Nov. 14, Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Mitchell reportedly has a prior criminal record, but officials did not elaborate on the specifics of potential charges she has faced before this incident.
She also has a 7-year-old child who was not in the home when Jeremiah drowned. That child is staying with another family member while Mitchell remains in jail without the option to post bail.
"These cases are always difficult," said Assistant District Attorney Amanda Balling, who explained that she was not able to discuss the details of the case, as the investigation continues.
A grand jury will hear the case next, she added.
"The cases of child abuse in our county are difficult and heartbreaking," said Balling, according to WHEC. "We'd like to bring awareness to these issues as much as possible."
Under the Abandoned Infant Protection Act of 2000, it is legal in New York to anonymously leave unwanted babies who are less than 30 days old at designated hospitals, fire stations and police stations with no questions asked and immunity from prosecution, notes The Epoch Times.
There are also services like the Crisis Nursery, where parents can temporarily leave children in emergency situations.
"When we hear of this tragedy, a tremendous life, in that heartbreaking moment what she needed the most was help," said the nursery's director, Elaine Spaull, according to WHEC. "It's not about blame."
Even if the center is so full that it is "bursting at the seams," workers will still "find a way to help" and won't turn away desperate parents, she added.
"We all need help once in awhile," said Spaull told The Epoch Times. "Call us. We will come help you. You are not alone."