Woman pleads guilty to leaving newborn baby in trash can

Woman pleads guilty to leaving newborn baby in trash can
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:06 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A woman who pleaded guilty Monday to abandoning her newborn baby in a trash can in Wilmington in 2020 will spend 16-20 years in prison.

Maryuri Macedo, 23, was charged with first-degree attempted murder, intentional child abuse - serious bodily injury and negligent child abuse - serious bodily injury.

Macedo received a prison sentence of 196-248 months.

“We just felt like, the fact that she had a two-year-old child that she loved, and took care of, and the length of time that she spent from the time that this child was born at 8:00 in the morning to when she decided to abandon him in that garbage can, you know, 7-8 hours later, that this was a premeditated decision from her,” said Assistant District Attorney Lance Oehrlein

In July 2020, a woman walking her dog along Fairview Drive heard the baby’s cries coming from the trash can and rescued the child before calling 911. That woman testified in court during Macedo’s sentencing hearing Monday.

Prosecutors say Macedo could have avoided charges if she gave her child up safely under North Carolina’s Safe Surrender Law, which allows parents to safely surrender a child to an adult within seven days after the child is born.

“[Macedo] was given ample opportunities with pamphlets to get free Medicaid, to get services from physicians, services in the community,” Oehrlein said. “She was given prenatal vitamins, she chose not to except any of that. So, we felt like this was a premeditated act.”

Holly Royals with New Hanover County Child Protective Services says babies are rarely surrendered under the Safe Surrender law in New Hanover County, but she wants parents to know its an option.

“We would encourage people that are considering a plan of adoption to think of that prior to the birth or to go through an adoption agency where they can be a part of making that plan and ensuring that their baby’s needs are met,” Royals said.

In court Monday, Macedo read a statement saying she was not in the right state of mind at the time of the incident, and that the guilt and pain she feels will never go away.

“We felt like this really was an atrocious and cruel way to try and end a child’s life,” said Oehrlein.

Officials say the child is doing well and will turn two later this year.

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