Iowa Woman Tries to Flush Baby Down Hospital Toilet After Delivery

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Ashley Hautzenrader, 22, is shown in a May 8, 2016 booking photo after she allegedly tried to flush her newborn baby down a hospital toilet in Iowa City. (Credit: University of Iowa Police)

An Iowa woman is facing charges after police say she gave birth in a hospital bathroom, then tried to flush the baby down the toilet because she thought it was stillborn.

The incident happened Sunday evening at an Iowa City hospital, KTLA sister station WHO in Des Moines reported.

A criminal complaint filed in Johnson County Iowa states 22-year-old Ashley Hautzenrader entered the bathroom and delivered a baby in the toilet.

Hautzenrader said she did not know she was pregnant when she entered the restroom and thought the baby was dead because it didn’t cry. She tried flushing the baby down the toilet, but then put the baby in a pillowcase which she placed in the trash can.

The complaint says she cleaned the bathroom and then left.

Hospital employees later found the baby alive.

Officers were able to find Hautzenrader and she allegedly admitted to putting the baby in the trash, claiming she thought the child was dead. She also told them she wasn’t aware she was pregnant.

State court records from May of 2015 show an order establishing paternity and support for a child Hautzenrader previously gave birth to.

She now faces one count of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor. Hautzenrader was being held in the Johnson County Jail but was released Tuesday morning.