Indiana woman admits leaving newborn to die on Caribbean cruise ship

HAMMOND, Ind. (KRON) — An Indiana woman admitted to a U.S. judge to leaving her newborn baby girl to die under a bed of a Caribbean cruise ship.

Alicia Keir, 24, of DeMotte pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in federal court.

Keir was traveling with her friend and her friend’s family in October 2011. She was alone in her stateroom when she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Keir told U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano Wednesday that she stayed with the newborn for a minute, The (Munster) Times reported. She then wrapped the baby in a towel and hid her under the bed.

“She did not move. She did not make a sound,” Keir told Lozano, saying she knew the baby was born alive. Court records show the baby was born without any diseases or defects.

“I should have gotten help,” she said.

A cleaning crew found the baby dead the next day after the ship arrived at port in St. Maarten. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Stewart said a doctor at the port determined the newborn died from exposure and lack of care.

Keir flew home from St. Maarten after the dead baby was discovered.

Keir, who was 20 years old at the time of the incident, said she knew she was pregnant but didn’t tell her travel companions.

Federal prosecutors said even though the baby died at sea they have jurisdiction in the case because of Keir’s Indiana residency.

Keir faces up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced Aug. 20. As part of the plea agreement, the state and defense can argue for what each believes is an appropriate sentence, according to The Times.

Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com

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