Police: Pa. teens charged for burying stillborn

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) - September 20, 2008 Authorities believe the 15-year-old girl was seven months pregnant when she suffered the still birth in her home in April 2007. She put the body in a bag and her boyfriend, then 14, buried it the next day.

In June, more than a year later, a man found the remains while digging holes for a playground behind an apartment house. The teens, who had not previously disclosed the pregnancy, went to police after learning of the investigation.

"These are two teens who were afraid to report this pregnancy or discuss it with their parents, and handled it very poorly," Lebanon police Capt. Daniel Wright said. "When it became public, they told their families and turned themselves in within 24 hours."

The body was discovered on June 15. Authorities waited several months to file the charges because of the time it took for DNA tests to prove the teens were the baby's parents.

The teens are charged as juveniles with concealing the death of a child, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy. Their names are not being released because of their ages, but they are living at home and attending school, Wright said.

There is no evidence the child's death was suspicious, District Attorney Dave Arnold said. The body was badly decomposed, so investigators could not determine the cause of death or determine if he ever took a breath.

David Colon, who discovered the body, never completed the playground and rarely goes into the backyard, his wife Indira said Friday. Their youngest child was only a few months old at the time, she said.

Jessica Strobel, a mother of four who lives next door, also found the discovery disturbing.

"If they couldn't tell their parents, they should have told someone or called 911 or something," Strobel said. "But I guess not everyone thinks when they're in a panic mode."


Information from: The Patriot-News, http://www.pennlive.com/patriotnews

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