Brooksville woman charged in newborn's death

BROOKESVILLE, Fla. -- A 27-year-old Brooksville woman faces a manslaughter charge after police say she gave birth and then dumped the newborn in a trash bag and left it for dead.

Maria Macdalena Castillo told police she didn't even know she was pregnant when she started giving birth in the shower in April, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Castillo panicked, police said, and hid the baby girl in a plastic bag underneath some clothing in her apartment.

A coroner ruled the newborn girl died of asphyxiation, hemorrhage and neglect at birth, the newspaper reported, and police said her death was ruled a homicide.

On April 28, police and firefighters were called to a home in the 300 block of Union Street after a report of an infant not breathing.

First responders tried using CPR to resuscitate the girl, but soon after she was pronounced dead, police said.

Investigators determined Castillo gave birth just hours earlier in the shower, but told none of several family members living with her inside the apartment. When her brother went to take a shower and realized what had happened, the family confronted Castillo and discovered the baby, police said.

By the time authorities arrived, it was too late to save her.

Castillo was arrested Wednesday. Authorities waited for the medical examiner to confirm the child was alive at the time of birth before taking her mother into custody, police told the Times.

Castillo's charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. She's being held on $30,000 bond in Hernando County Detention Center.


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