Hanover Park teen indicted in the killing of her newborn

  • Jessica Cruz

    Jessica Cruz

 
 
Updated 12/2/2011 5:46 PM

Cook County prosecutors announced the indictment of a Hanover Park teen Friday on charges that she strangled her newborn son last month shortly after giving birth in an employee restroom at the Streamwood Salvation Army store.

Jessica Cruz, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of the full-term infant, who authorities say weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 18 inches long.

 

If convicted, she could face a sentence ranging from 20 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Cruz -- who concealed her pregnancy from everyone except for the baby's father -- entered the store on Nov. 4 and asked to use the restroom.

Prosecutors say she gave birth in the employee restroom, put the baby in a garbage bag which she tied around his neck, placed him in a trash can and covered him with paper towels.

After attempting to clean up the blood, she left the store, prosecutors said.

A surveillance video shows her entering a second store about a half mile away where prosecutors say she also asked to use the restroom. Several witnesses from each store identified Cruz as the woman who used their facilities, authorities said.

Prosecutors say Cruz lied to police investigating the death of the newborn by passing herself off as her mother and stating she had not seen her daughter in months.

Cruz later admitted the lies, prosecutors said.

Cruz, who is being held without bond in Cook County jail, will be arraigned Dec. 21 in Rolling Meadows.

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