GREENVILLE, S.C. — Two South Carolina women face child neglect charges after restaurant employees say one of them gave birth in the bathroom and placed the child in a trash bag, eventually leading to the baby boy’s death.
On July 12, officers went to the La Parilla Mexican Restaurant in Greenville in reference to a newborn in cardiac arrest, WLOS reports. Upon arrival, officers learned the baby’s mother, Estela Ruiz-Gomez, had just given birth in the restaurant bathroom.
The newborn was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy and could not find a medical reason why the child died but noted that dirt and gravel were found on the newborn’s body.
When deputies returned to the restaurant, employees said Ruiz-Gomez went to the bathroom during her break because her stomach was hurting, the station reports. When the manager went to get her out of the bathroom at the end of her break, she said that her stomach was still hurting and the manager then went to get her mother, who also worked at the restaurant, to check on her.
When Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez went to check on her, she returned from the bathroom saying her daughter needed to go to the hospital.
Shortly after they left the bathroom, an employee emptied the trash and as she was dragging the bag across the parking lot, it tore open and the newborn fell out onto the pavement.
The baby’s father, who was at the restaurant, retrieved the newborn and brought him inside where EMS was called to the scene.
Detectives have since ruled the baby’s death a homicide since he likely would have survived had he not been placed in the trash.
Ruiz-Gomez is charged with homicide by child neglect and Rodriguez with aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.