Mom drowned two newborns in toilet, says abortion too costly
A 34-year-old Maryland woman faces a maximum sentence of 10 years after admitting that on two occasions she gave birth to a live baby boy on the toilet, and then allowed the child to drown.
Melissa Schrae Bowen of Prince Frederick said she killed her babies because she had three children already and could not afford an abortion. She saw her acts of infanticide as a parallel to legalized abortion.
The macabre ordeal began on March 8, 2012, when the defendant's mother came across a grisly discovery while cleaning out the trunk of Melissa's car. Inside a trash bag in the trunk was the body of a dead newborn baby, “Baby Boy A,” whose umbilical cord was still attached. Her mother alerted police, who questioned Bowen.
Police say Bowen originally claimed she miscarried the baby, who weighed six pounds, sometime in 2007. Experts determined the child had been born alive at full term.
But that November 16, Charles County Sheriff's officers found another baby's body in a suitcase in the attic of a home in La Plata, Maryland. “Baby Boy B” – who was born in late 2011 or early 2012 – had died in Huntingtown, Maryland, but she brought his body to La Plata.
Bowen was indicted by a Calvert County grand jury last October on one count of second degree murder and two counts of manslaughter.
Police say Bowen admitted that she hid her pregnancies from everyone until she gave birth on the toilet, then she did nothing to retrieve the children. When the toilet failed to kill “Baby Boy A,” she drowned him in a bathtub.
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Last Friday, Bowen entered an “Alford plea” to the charges, meaning the state can prove its case, but she does not concede guilt.
According to Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, the judge indicated that she would be sentenced to two sentences of 10 years each, which she can serve concurrently. Thus, she will spend a maximum of 10 years in prison.