Shorewood teen faces charges for burying infant in flower bed

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SHOREWOOD -- A 16-year-old girl from Shorewood is facing a criminal charge for burying her dead newborn in a flower bed on the side of her family's home. The police report in the case says the girl gave birth in the bathtub of her home, and thought the baby was dead, but wasn't sure. She placed the baby in a shoebox and put it in a drawer in her room.

The girl is not being identified because she's a juvenile, but she is accused of concealing the death of her baby. The girl appeared Thursday in Milwaukee County juvenile court.

Patch.com reports the teen did not believe the infant was alive at birth, but the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office could not confirm her assertion. The police report says the girl told officials "if it was (alive), I didn't know, but I'm not going to say it's not a possibility." The teen also says she didn't know she was pregnant, and she continued to exercise and participate in Shorewood High School extra-curricular activities. The police report says the girl is very active in high school and fell into a bad crowd for a short time, but is now back with good friends.

The police report says the infant's body was found by the mother after a foul odor led her to the flower bed where the infant was buried by the teen mother. The police report says the girl removed the baby's body from her bedroom after about a week and a half, when the smell got too strong and buried it in the flower bed.

The girl told police she didn't tell anyone about the birth because she was worried about her reputation, and her mom's reputation. She says she was most worried about disappointing her mom, and says she later regretted the decision to hide the birth.

Last month, Shorewood police arrested the baby's father, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay boy, but the boy told police he was not aware the girl was pregnant. The district attorney decided not to charge him for having sex with a minor. The baby's father named the baby Jameson, and it was buried at Valhalla Cemetery in Milwaukee in an unmarked grave. Because the body was decomposed, the Medical Examiner put down the cause of death as undetermined - something that will remain a mystery even as the baby's secret birth becomes known.

The girl most likely will not face more serious charges because no one can determine whether the baby was born alive or not.