A baby was found dead in a homeless mother's purse after she gave birth at a park in California on Aug. 2.
The 29-year-old mother, Jessica Carrasco, was not yet at full term in her pregnancy when she gave birth at a Jefferson Park restroom in east Bakersfield, KERO-TV reports.
It is not clear whether the baby was stillborn when she delivered it, reports KBAK/KBFX.
She reportedly put the baby's remains in her purse and went to a friend's house. Theresa Murphy, the friend, was the one who alerted police after the mother showed her the purse with the remains.
"We've known her for a while," Murphy said. "She comes in and out, and she's homeless."
"She started confiding in my daughter, and the next thing we knew she asked my daughter if she wanted to see the baby," she said.
While it was obvious to them the child was dead, the mother was "laughing and smiling like it was just another day."
When police arrived, they sent the mother to the hospital.
"I don't even know who she's pregnant by," Murphy said. "She didn't show any signs of being pregnant, because every time she comes over she is with another guy. I just hope she gets the help she needs."
It is not yet clear whether Carrasco will face charges.
Bakersfield police are asking for help in the investigation.
Authorities also remind pregnant women they can always surrender the baby if they are unable to care for it.
Parents can drop the baby off at any fire station or hospital emergency room within three days of birth. They have two weeks to reclaim the child.
"It’s really important that the baby have a fighting chance that we put the baby in the hands of somebody that can care for the baby," said John Frando, the Bakersfield Fire Department's public information officer. "Gives the mother a way out it is a great program for the baby but also the mother in crisis as well."
Many were stunned after learning of this incident, including the police.
"Me personally, I haven't seen anything of this nature," said Sgt. Ryan Kroeker, a spokesman for the Bakersfield Police Department. "The circumstances are definitely something a bit different, not something we see on a regular basis."
Many also sympathized with the mother, saying she likely had a miscarriage.
"The mother did not give birth!" said one woman on the Bakersfield Now Facebook page. "She had a miscarriage at 19 weeks. At 20 weeks it would have been considered a stillborn. The news needs to get their facts straight! As for how she reacted, sounds like she was in shock and denial."