BOSTON (CBS) – A mother accused of dumping her newborn baby in a Dorchester trash can appeared in court Monday afternoon. Marie Merisier is charged with attempted murder and the reckless endangerment of a child.
Prosecutors said the 33-year-old was cooking or cleaning at a home in Dorchester on Friday and was pregnant when she arrived.
Witnesses told police she went into the bathroom for more than an hour and they heard a baby crying. She allegedly came out with a leather bag and refused help. The witness called 911 after Merisier left.
Prosecutors say video from a pizza shop nearby shows her reaching into the bag, taking out a plastic bag and putting it in a trash barrel.
The baby, a boy, was inside the plastic bag. A woman heard crying from the trash can and alerted EMS who brought the baby to the hospital. The baby is doing well.
Police say when they confronted Merisier, she initially denied any involvement but then told them she thought the baby was dead. Merisier’s attorney said mental health issues and postpartum depression may play a role in this case.
Merisier is being held on $100,000 bail. If released, she is ordered to stay away from and have no contact with the newborn victim and any witnesses, remain under home confinement and submit to GPS monitoring.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins thanked to the witnesses and the first responders who helped the baby. “It is because of all of these swift actions that this beautiful newborn is alive and now hopefully able to thrive,” Rollins said.
Rollins said she visited the baby in the hospital on Saturday and was so happy to see nurses “pouring love and affection” into the baby.
Since 2004, the Safe Haven Act of Massachusetts allows a parent to legally surrender newborn infants seven days old or younger at any hospital, police station, or manned fire station without fear of facing criminal prosecution.