Kohl's employees tell police newborn found in trash was dead when she was discovered
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- A supervisor at a Louisville Kohl's, who along with a custodian was the first to see a newborn that had been delivered in the store's restroom on Aug. 8, told police the infant was dead when she was found in the trash, her head badly twisted.
Nicholas Marsh, a loss prevention officer for the store, told police he found no signs of life after the infant was discovered and saw no abnormal cuts or other injuries; but he said the newborn's head was twisted more than 90 degrees, according to evidence released Wednesday in the murder case of the baby's mother, Jessica Price.
"She felt cool and she wasn't moving at all," Marsh said of the infant.
Price, who has pleaded not guilty and is on home incarceration while awaiting trial, told police she went to the bathroom during her shift, eventually delivering a baby she said was already dead before panicking and hiding the newborn's body in the trash.
But police have said the infant, which they named "Baby Girl Price," appeared to be full-term and healthy and died as a result of an "intentional act" by Price.
A preliminary report said the infant was "a full-term baby capable of sustaining life" with no obvious signs of physical trauma, according to the records released Wednesday. Testing showed air in the newborn's lungs and an autopsy indicated the "baby was a live birth and died as a result of unknown homicidal means," according to the records.
And Cathy Murphy, a store employee, was in the bathroom at the same time as Price and "heard grunting and a baby cry," according to the records.
Also among the evidence released Wednesday were 911 calls, interviews with Price's parents and about 200 pages of documents.
Police also talked to a man on Sept. 27 who thinks he may be the father of the child.
Aleatha Price, Jessica's mother, told police she didn't think "anyone was aware" her daughter was pregnant.
Aleatha Price said her daughter had a miscarriage in the shower six years ago.
"They put the baby in a plastic bag with her (Jessica) watching," Aleatha Price said of EMS workers.
Also, Aleatha Price told police she asked her daughter recently about what happened at Kohl's and, "All I could get out of her was, ‘Oh my God, not again, Oh my God, not again ... .'"
Robert Price, Jessica's dad, told police he was "dumbfounded," saying his daughter loved children.
A woman at Aleatha Price's home declined to comment Wednesday. Price's attorney, Ashley Edwards, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
In her interview with police, Jessica Price said she "got scared and didn't know what else to do," saying she was surprised when the newborn "just kind of fell out" into the toilet.
Price said she picked up the child and "it wasn't moving and it wasn't breathing" and "I panicked, I got scared," cleaning up the blood with paper towels and putting the newborn into a trash bag and in the trash can.
Marsh, the Kohl's supervisor, said his review of store video showed Price going into the bathroom seven times that day.
He said Jessica Price eventually left work, telling co-workers she was going to the emergency room because of a cyst, but she later came back.
"Blows my mind," Marsh said. "If you have something to hide, why come back to where everything happened?"
Instead of going to the emergency room, Price told police she instead went home "to try to figure out what I was doing."
She told police she took a shower and tried to regroup, before putting on the same clothes she had been wearing and going back to work a few hours later. Price admitted that she went back to the store in hopes of getting the infant out of the trash, though she didn't say what she planned on doing with the body.
By then, the infant had been found and pronounced dead at the scene.
WDRB's Bennett Haeberle will report on the interviews and other court documents on WDRB News at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Here is a link to a previous story about Price's police interview: http://www.wdrb.com/story/23519747/documents-uncover-mothers-actions-before-giving-birth-to-baby-found-in-trash
Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.