A Missouri woman has been charged with murder after she reportedly drowned her baby, tried to burn the body, and left the dead newborn in an abandoned cave.
Authorities say 19-year-old Latasha Wilson gave birth to a baby boy around January 29. She says that she and her friend Zakary Carter “discovered the baby was deceased a short time after.”
Then, they reportedly dumped the body in an abandoned cave rather than seek medical attention. Carter allegedly returned to try to burn the body afterward.
Wilson was initially charged with abandonment of a corpse but the medical examiner discovered that the baby was born alive and breathed before he died.
According to prosecutors, Wilson gave birth in a toilet at work at the Walmart where she works and “waited too long to remove him from the water.”
Johnson County Prosecutor Lynn Stoppy told Fox 4 “there was a lot of degradation done, decomposition of the body. He was set on fire. A lot of different body parts had to be sent off for analysis. He was born alive, and but for the actions or potentially inactions of this woman, he would be alive today.”
A pair of biology students from the University of Central Missouri, where Wilson is also a student, discovered the body while hiking in early March, more than a month after the baby died.
Carter has also been charged with tampering with physical evidence and faces up to four years in prison.
Wilson faces up to 30 years behind bars if convicted of second-degree murder.