Sheriff: NC mother hid newborn baby in closet

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Khrystina Marie Rice

MONROE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says it has charged a woman with first-degree murder and felony child abuse after an investigation showed she hid a newborn baby in a closet to conceal the fact that she had been pregnant.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Thursday that deputies responding to a 911 call from her husband on Sunday found 27-year-old Khrystina Marie Rice of Indian Trail on a bathroom floor and bleeding.

Investigators say paramedics later found a newborn infant tightly wrapped in a blanket inside of a trash bag in a bedroom closet. The sheriff’s office says paramedics performed CPR, but the infant died at a hospital.

Rice, who has two other children, has been jailed without bond. It’s not known if she has an attorney.

Investigators think the infant was born healthy and weighed almost seven pounds at birth. The preliminary cause of death is asphyxiation, according to deputies, who say the infant also had skull and rib fractures. 

Rice’s husband was reportedly unaware of her pregnancy and was asleep before finding his wife on the floor and bleeding early Sunday morning, according to deputies. 

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