Allentown mother charged in death of infant found in paint can

Walter Perez Image
Thursday, June 20, 2019
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Allentown mother charged in death of infant found in paint can. Walter Perez has more on Action News at 4 p.m. on June 19, 2019.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- A woman has been charged in the death of her newborn son, whose body was found in a paint can in her Lehigh Valley home.

Lehigh County DA Jim Martin says the investigation started after the suspect, 30-year-old Ashley Caraballo, went to St. Luke's Hospital for stomach pain and bleeding.

During treatment, the attending physician found evidence that Caraballo had recently given birth including placental tissue, a portion of umbilical cord and specific internal injuries.

"Injuries to the cervix in conjunction to injuries to the umbilical cord were consistent with damage, according to Dr. Avellini, which would occur where a baby was ripped out from a cervix that was not fully dilated," Martin says.

Still, Caraballo denied she had been pregnant.

Hospital officials contacted the authorities, and the ensuing investigation led police to the North Whitehall Township home Caraballo shared with her partner, Paul Wilson, and their five children.

Citing the medical examiner's report, Martin says, "Within a reasonable degree of medical certainty the baby was born alive and that the cause of death was one or a combination of asphyxia, blood loss and/or hypothermia."

Martin says police found a deceased male baby wrapped in a sheet inside a backpack within a five-gallon paint can in the basement.

Authorities say there is currently no evidence linking Caraballo's partner to the case. So tonight, Wilson is not facing any charges.

Meanwhile, Caraballo surrendered Wednesday morning and is now being held without bail at the Lehigh County Jail on charges including abuse of a corpse, concealing the death of a child and murder.