SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman accused of dumping her newborn in the trash in an attempt to hide her pregnancy from her parents has been charged with attempted murder, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said Friday.
Alicia Marie Englert, 23, deliberately tried to kill the baby by depriving her of food and medical care before leaving her in the bottom of her neighbor's trash underneath other bags of trash, Gill said.
The baby girl was flown to a hospital in critical condition on Aug. 26 after being found suffering from hypothermia and respiratory distress, he said. She has since improved and is now in fair condition, Unified Police said.
"It's certainly a testament to how resilient these babies can be," Gill said. "It's quite remarkable that the baby is doing well and is improving steadily."
Englert doesn't yet have an attorney. She is in Salt Lake County jail on $500,000 bail.
Her father, Robert Englert, declined comment when reached by phone Friday.
The Utah Child and Family Services Agency is now in charge of the baby and determining options for custody, Gill said.
Gill offered new details about what happened in the 36 hours leading up to the baby being found by a neighbor in the Salt Lake City suburb of Kearns.
Englert gave birth in a bathroom inside the house she lived in with her family around midnight on Aug. 24, Gill said. She wrapped the baby in a towel and left it on the floor of the basement bathroom, he said.
Englert left for work the following day, leaving the baby alone without feeding her or getting her any care. She came back home that night and left the baby on the floor. The next morning, Englert put the baby in her neighbor's trash can just before 6 a.m., Gill said.
A neighbor heard sounds of what she thought was a purring cat in her trash can. When she moved several trash bags, she spotted the baby, Gill said. She couldn't get the baby out and ran next door for help.
There, she found Englert's father, Robert Englert, who helped get the baby out of the trash can. Emergency responders put the baby on a life-flight helicopter.
The baby was dirty, smelly and had a blood-borne infection, Gill said. "If the baby had not been discovered and not received medical condition, it certainly would have died," he said.
Investigators don't believe other family members knew about the baby being in the house, Gill said.
Robert Englert has said previously his daughter has a learning disability and has only recently begun to understand what she has done.
Gill said they had no evidence of any disability and that it was not a factor in his decision about charges. If Englert suffers from any condition, that issue will be dealt with as the case moves through the courts, he said.