About Us
Mission Statement
Rules of Conduct
Remember Me

What would you do?
Author: Raine    Date: 11/30/2015 13:57:30

Last Friday, some very disturbing news came across my FB feed. It was confirmed that a young woman, or girl depending upon ones perspective had killed her newborn child.

Here is the very graphic and horrific story. **Trigger Warning **
A Livingston woman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder after she left her newborn baby in a dumpster, according to authorities. Jim Vasil has more.

A newborn baby was found dead in this dumpster outside an XtraMart Friday morning in the town of Livingston. Police said his mother, Tara Tomlin, 20, is responsible. The Columbia County DA charged her with second-degree murder.

"The cause of death, a per Dr. Hubbard and Corner Blasl is asphyxiation and a homicide," said Paul Czajka, Columbia County DA.
Other sources reported this:
At a press conference Friday, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said authorities were alerted to the possibility of a baby near the 24-hour convenience store at about 3:30 a.m. by a man who said he heard what he believed was the “sound of a baby.”

Police were unable to locate the newborn in their initial investigation, but based on additional information, at about 9 a.m., authorities found the body of a dead newborn in a dumpster in the store’s parking lot.
There were people who saw the woman after she gave birth. from the first link:
"She was just really pale. She was just taking very small steps, bracing herself with the counter," she said. "I asked her if she was okay, and she told me, 'yeah.' But anything further into asking if she was sick or anything, she didn't answer."

She noticed something was off, so she tried to lighten things up.

"I told her, 'yeah, you know, I couldn't do this job. I couldn't do overnights,' just trying to make her feel better, get a smile, and I didn't get anything," said the witness

There were these witnesses:
“She had blood all over her hands and I like pointed to him, I'm like, ‘Look at her hands,’ and then she was like really pale and I was like getting like weirded out,” Ciera Vanackooi said.  

“Definitely looked like she was in shock like she was, just had no emotions towards anything,” Cody Karcher said.

  The couple says they asked what happened, why she had blood on her hands and face, and the woman told them she did not know.  
“It really just flipped my stomach. I wanted to throw up,” Karcher said.   The couple left the store disturbed. Hours later, investigators released the gut-wrenching details of what they found.
They didn't call the police, they walked away.

There are many many questions that have yet to be answered regarding this horrible story. Most, if not all, states have safe haven laws.
All safe haven statutes specifically provide where a baby may be relinquished.  Some state laws allow a newborn to be handed to a doctor or church, and others mention specific places in the hospital such as an emergency room with a nurse where the newborn may be abandoned.  Commonly, hospitals, manned fire house, on duty police stations, church, adoption agencies, and health care providers are considered to be safe locations.  However, newborn abandonment will be legal only if it is in accordance with the concerned state laws.
This young woman was either not aware of that or, as I suspect suffered from mental illness.

It is easy, as so some have done, (I broke the rule and read the comments section) to turn a human being into a monster when faced with such a horrible event. A baby was killed. People I know and love personally are commenting on this tragedy. Some are compassionate, others understandably angry.

A baby was birthed by an overnight worker; she was a twenty-year old at a convenience store. People saw her laden with blood and walked away. Someone called because they heard a what they (correctly) thought was an infant crying. The police found nothing and walked away. There was blood near the bathroom, no one saw it until they found the dead baby. A lot of people just went about their business.

One woman knew something was wrong, but at that point, it appears there was nothing that could have been done. The child was dead.

Now I will tell you this, this story hits close to home. Over a decade ago, I was an employee of this company. It is a very low-paying job. My insurance was very inexpensive upfront, but there was no way I could afford to see a doctor. It was junk insurance. I suspect that if this young woman/girl had the insurance I had, her predicament was even more dire than mine was. She is not married, and - so far - none of her friends or family have come forward for her as an advocate. There has been no mention of who impregnated her.

At this point, she stands out as an abomination. What she is accused of is horrible and unthinkable, and yet it happened in a sleepy quiet county in rural New York State. This is a place where these things are not supposed to happen. Columbia County, like much of rural America, is a place where things happened in other places. Something like this happening in ones backyard is uncomfortable and it cuts close to the bone. Almost everyone I know in that area has been in that store.

I say this because I spent a sizable portion of my life in that area. My mother worked at the specific store at one point. I did a few shifts there when people called in sick. I worked at another location at a point of my life; I was just to trying to make the very basics of life met, and even then, they were not. I know I was not alone in that circumstance, and I am sure some people are there working today just to get through one day to the next.

People come and go as customers at these stores. They get their gas, coffee, beer, milk and whatever quick essentials one needs. It's why it is called a convenience store. Most customers don't know who is behind the counter or what their life experience is. Overnight workers are often the only person at the store, a situation that I never liked. I personally refused overnight shifts for my own safety. Until last Friday, this was just a girl working the overnight shift. Today, she is considered by many to be a monster.

This child went to the same school I did, many people knew her. I have read comments from people I know back in Germantown, NY. Some people are compassionate, and some are filled with anger and unable to comprehend that this is a human being who did something horrible. It is easy to assume she knew better. It is easy to hate her -- without knowing what demons drove her to do this. It is not easy to try to understand something that is so very very abhorrent. I don't understand it, but I am not ready to hate this woman. Something led her to believe this was her only option. I have to wonder if anyone was there to tell her she had options.

She has been arraigned and is now in jail without bond. She will be be evaluated to see if she is capable to stand trial. This is a sick girl. I mean that. She is ill. I waver between using the terms woman, child and girl because she didn't appear to be mature enough to handle the enormity of the result of pregnancy -- parenthood. She didn't seem to have a safety net. She was alone at that store that night, and alone in the world and sick in her soul. I can't hate her. I don't have to absolve her of what has been done, that is for the courts and her God -- but I can't hate a person so ill and desperate that this seemed like the only solution. Things like this don't happen in a vacuum. It seems like she needed a lot of help and instead she fell through the cracks like so many do in this country. We need a better way to treat mental illness. Demonizing people for being sick only makes the cycle more vicious. We need to try to prevent these things from happening BEFORE a child dies or a life is shattered into oblivion.

I feel like a lot of people failed a human being here. This could have been me or one of my friends and family, and thankfully it wasn't because I have a social safety net. Where was hers? I am not religious, but I cannot help but think of this story from the christian Bible:

At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them.

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. "

Teacher," they said to Him, "this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery.

In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?"

They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger.

When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, "The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her."

I am not without sin, and few I know are. So many are praying to their god for this baby and so many are very quick to cast stones at this person. We can walk in hate or we can walk in love. Which is easier to find happiness? What is your choice?

I wish things had been different for this person. I wish a life wasn't taken. I wish things could be different for anyone suffering.



27 comments (Latest Comment: 12/01/2015 02:04:18 by Will in Chicago)
   Perma Link

Share This!

Furl it!