A Rock Hill, North Carolina, woman who buried her newborn baby in her backyard is being sentenced to probation following charges of unlawful conduct toward a child.
The woman, Tara Lyn Ostrowski, 37, gave birth to a baby boy following a pregnancy she had hid from her family.
PIX11 News reports that Ostrowski hid her pregnancy because she was afraid of her husband who had abused her for seven years. Her plan, following the birth, was to find a safe haven for the baby.
According to WCNC, she gave birth alone in her bathroom. The baby then struggled for six to eight minutes. As the Charlotte Observer reports, Ostrowski told the police the baby had “labored breathing then stopped breathing and became unresponsive.”
Rock Hill Police Captain Brent Allmon said, “At that point she had gotten scared,” quotes WCNC. So Ostrowski placed the baby in a metal box and buried it in her backyard.
Neighbors claim they noticed digging in the backyard around the time of the incident. An anonymous tip eventually led police to the house on Bailey Avenue.
A coroner’s report showed levels of hydrocodone and methamphetamine. The Herald Online reports that Ostrowski told officials that she took prescription painkillers and smoked meth while pregnant.
The coroner determined that the death of the baby was homicide.
As the Charlotte Observer quotes Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson, “There’s no evidence that she intentionally killed the child. … The facts of this case don’t lend themselves to a manslaughter.”
Ostrowski was arrested on charges of unlawful neglect of a child and held in jail on no bail while awaiting trial.
Now, a York County Court has sentenced Ostrowski to three years of probation following at least 60 days of drug treatment, PIX11 reports.
The Herald Online quotes Tara Lyn Ostrowski’s mother-in-law, Ann Ostrowski, saying, “She probably got scared, didn’t know what to do and and probably thought that was the best thing to do. She’s a really good person. I just don’t understand why she didn’t call 911.”