Prosecutors said the 24-year-old mother, Taylor, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for drowning her newborn baby. The woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and asked that she be sentenced at once. Taylor must serve 35 years before becoming eligible for parole. Her boyfriend and the father of her two children, Brandon, pled guilty to child endangerment resulting in death and abuse of a corpse. Both parents reportedly drowned the baby minutes after a home delivery.
Both parents reportedly held their newborn daughter underwater in a half-filled bathtub to stifle her cries, before stuffing her lifeless body into a backpack and discarding it in a wooded area. The baby’s remains were never recovered. The mother told prosecutors that she was using methamphetamine at the time of her delivery and both she and her boyfriend were afraid that if it became known to child services, and would have lost custody of their 2-year-old son. They drowned their newborn baby to hide the fact the baby had methamphetamine in her system.
According to the court documents, on November 22, 2022, investigators received a call from the Department of Human Services employee reporting that the mother had been admitted to a hospital and that she had given birth to a baby at home six days earlier and later disposed of it. During an interview with investigators, the mother said that she and her boyfriend originally planned to have a family member adopt their daughter, because they had no intention of raising her together. The couple’s cellphones were later found to contain online searches for how to induce a miscarriage, court documents stated. When the mother went into labor in the bathroom of her apartment, she asked her boyfriend to give her methamphetamine to ease the pain.
Prosecutors said that the newborn baby, Kayleen, was born alive, was moving her arms and legs and opened her eyes, allowing her mom to see that she had brown eyes. The baby then began to cry, raising concerns with her parents that the sound would alert neighbors who would call 911. Brandon reportedly helped her position herself next to the tub and showed her how to submerge their baby by pushing down on her chest. Both parents then put their dead daughter in black garbage bags and stuffed her into a backpack. When police learned of Kayleen’s death, they launched a search for her body – but without success.