CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The woman police say is the mother of a newborn left inside a box in the woods to die in 2008 was denied bond on Friday.
A bond hearing was held for Jennifer Sahr, 32, who has been charged in the Baby Boy Horry case after police used DNA evidence for a warrant. The newborn child, who became known as Baby Boy Horry, was found by utility workers on Dec. 4, 2008, in a wooded area outside of Conway. An autopsy showed when the child was placed outside, it was a viable infant.
US Marshals apprehended Sahr in North Myrtle Beach on Tuesday and she was served with a warrant for homicide by child abuse. That charge carries a sentence of 20 years to life.
Sahr’s attorney addressed her flight risk during the bond hearing, saying her father was present in court and he is a decorated Navy veteran with the Department of Defense and would ensure she stays here. Her attorney said he advised Sahr to drive to South Carolina and present herself to J. Reuben Long the next morning. “She did everything I advised her to do to surrender,” said Greg McCollum, her attorney.
The judge said because Sahr has family members in so many states, her father lives in Arizona and she has family in Florida and Vermont, and because of the severity of the charge, he was going to deny bond for now. The judge ordered both sides to return the week of April 13 to continue the bond discussion. During that time, the prosecution will have reviewed the evidence and have a better idea of the indictment. The state has the option to pursue capital charges in the case, but has not decided.
Sahr’s husband has traveled here to be with her, according to her attorney. Their two children, both under the age of 3, are with family members. The two met when they were both students at Coastal Carolina University. Sahr graduated in 2010, almost two years after the newborn was found in the woods.
In the arrest warrant, police said, “It was determined the child had survived birth and is believed to have been alive when it was abandoned. Through the course of the investigation, it was confirmed the defendant, Jennifer Sahr, was the biological mother of the child.”
“She was the one responsible for the neglect of the child, failing to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or healthcare which did result in the child’s death,” the warrant reads.
An attorney representing Sahr, Greg McCollum, said she traveled from Pensacola to the North Myrtle Beach area on Tuesday with plans to turn herself in. He said they were in contact with Horry County Police about the plans.
After checking in to a place in North Myrtle Beach, McCollum says Sahr was arrested.
Sahr is a stay-at-home mother of two young children living with her husband in Pensacola, McCollum said. He said Sahr just found out on Monday about the warrants.
Karrie Holden with the US Marshals said Sahr was cooperative during the arrest and was arrested without incident.
Count on News13 for updates here as we work to gather more information.
“This development comes after scientific evidence provided Horry County Police Department with a new lead in the investigation,” police said in a press statement. “The State Law Enforcement Division has confirmed that Sahr is the biological mother of the child.”
The newborn child who became known as Baby Boy Horry was found by utility workers on Dec. 4, 2008, in a wooded area off of Highway 544 on Meadowbrook Drive outside of Conway. He had been wrapped in a tote bag and placed inside of a box. An autopsy showed that, when the child was placed outside, it was a viable infant.
“Over the last 12 years, the Horry County community has demonstrated a commitment to keeping the memory of Baby Boy Horry alive. It is our sincere hope that this new development will bring the community and all who have been touched by this case some sense of peace.,” HCPD also says.
“Baby Boy Horry is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery, where a memorial headstone was erected in his honor. A memorial service is held at the site every year, led by Horry County Coroner Robert Edge and members of the community,” HCPD adds. The case remains open and more charges are possible.
Authorities also say they know who the child’s father is and have been in contact with him.
Baby Horry became part of our county family as he was discovered abandoned just three weeks before Christmas in 2008 and we are eager to assist in pursuing justice for him. Robert, myself and our department appreciate everyone who has helped us remember him and celebrate his short life throughout the last 11 years.CHIEF DEPUTY CORONER TAMARA WILLARD
HCPD adds “community members are reminded that, if they find themselves with a newborn they cannot care for, the Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act, known as Daniel’s Law, allows the parent to safely surrender the child to a hospital, law enforcement agency, fire station, or church.”
HCPD was assisted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, SC Law Enforcement Division, Coastal Carolina Department of Public Safety and the Horry County Coroner’s Office.
In December, ceremonies were held 11 years after the baby’s body was found. Read more here.
Count on News13 for updates as we work to learn more.