HENRICO, VA, September 11, 2012, ( –  A 39-year-old Virginia woman who wrapped her newborn in a plastic bag, placed it in a pillowcase, then left the girl in a dryer to die had attempted to abort the baby earlier in the pregnancy.

Angela Janecka from the Richmond suburb of Henrico gave birth to an eight pound baby girl on August 25. After tying the infant securely in a plastic bag, placing the bag in a pillowcase, and leaving the baby inside a dryer to suffocate, she called her husband to say their child had been stillborn, Henrico County Commonwealth attorneys said in court on Monday.


As the father cleaned up the area where she had given birth, he thought he heard a cat inside the appliance but instead discovered his daughter.

In a hearing Monday prosecutors said the couple called their pediatrician’s office, rather than 911. The physician alerted police, who charged Janecka with attempted murder and felony child neglect.

The lawyers revealed the couple had sought an abortion but were turned down because the girl was too far along. They added that the couple’s home showed no signs they had prepared for the child’s birth. 

Authorities said the healthy baby girl, who was discovered less than half-an-hour after birth, was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital and was “doing fine” by the time they turned her over to Child Protective Services, where she remains.

Henrico Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Oglesby said, “The baby is alive and well, which is the saving grace of all of this.”

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“It’s something I haven’t dealt with in 36 years, I can tell you that,” said Henrico Police Captain Jan Stem. “It’s sad.”

The case is not the first time abortion and infanticide made headlines in Virginia. In 2009, a Campbell County woman avoided criminal charges after smothering her newborn, because the umbilical cord was still attached.

Janecka’s lawyer, Nikki M. Clarke, argued in court Monday that her client should be released so she can care for her eight-year-old son.

Henrico Judge Randall Johnson Jr. ordered the mother to remain held without bail pending a hearing on November 16 to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.


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