WARNING: The video above contains imagery that may be distressing.
HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – New details are emerging about a teen mother accused of throwing her newborn baby in the trash. Hobbs Police arrested 18-year-old Alexis Avila over the weekend for attempted murder.
At a press conference on Monday, Interim Police Chief August Fons says he’s never seen anything like this during his time in law enforcement. He explains why Avila was released so soon after being taken into custody. “At the time the warrant was signed by the judge and the judge signed a $10,000 unsecured bond appearance bond and at that point, she was released about an hour later.”
A criminal complaint says Avila claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant until she went to a doctor for stomach pain last Thursday. Avila says she gave birth in her bathroom the next day.
She then reportedly told authorities that she panicked. She says she wrapped the baby boy in a towel, placed it in a trash bag, and drove around before eventually throwing the baby in a dumpster at the Broadmoor Shopping Center. The baby would spend six cold hours in the dumpster.
Three people who were dumpster diving found the baby after hearing a cry. They first thought it was a kitten when they picked up the bag.
Surveillance video captured the scene as a woman pulls the baby from the trash bag. The woman then tries to comfort the baby boy who can be heard in the 911 call. Police are then seen arriving at the scene.
Joe Imbriale owns Rig Outfitters and Homestore and his surveillance cameras are pointed toward those dumpsters.
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When police reviewed the video, they found the baby had been dumped five and a half hours earlier. “What was even harder, that nobody has seen, is five hours of video of people dumping trash on this baby,” said Imbriale.
That video led authorities to Avila who then reportedly admitted to the crime according to police. “She explained that on Friday, January 7, she experienced stomach pain and unexpectedly gave birth. She further explained that she panicked and did not know who to call,” said Interim Chief Fons.
“The baby was wrapped in a bath towel that was dirty and wet, had dried blood on him with the umbilical cord still attached,” said Fons.
Police reported that Avila then wrapped the baby in a towel, placed the baby in a white trash bag containing some trash, then inside a larger trash bag before wrapping a hair tie on the bag to keep it closed. Police state that they asked Avila what she thought would happen to the baby after throwing him away.
“Alexis remained silent and could not answer,” said Fons.
The video of Avila has gone viral on the internet sparking outrage across the community. “We are maintaining close patrol of her residence. I’m not aware of any verified or confirmed reports of her house being fired upon,” said Chief Fons.
Chief Fons also thanked the trio for saving the baby’s life and also acknowledged the officers who responded to the scene. “These types of calls often stay with officers long after they’re resolved, often for many, many years,” said Fons.
The baby boy was taken to a Hobbs hospital before being transported to a Lubbock hospital that has a more advanced NICU unit. The baby was also given a blood transfusion, put on a feeding tube, and given oxygen. The baby is currently in stable condition.
Court documents say when evaluated, the baby’s temperature was so low that it didn’t register, indicating hypothermia. The chief says they’re scheduling an interview with who they believe to be the baby’s father, a juvenile who reportedly says he didn’t know about the pregnancy.
Police say they did interview Avila’s mother who stated she didn’t know her daughter was pregnant. Avila is charged with attempted murder and child abuse. The State of New Mexico has filed a motion for Avila’s pretrial detention and she has a hearing set for Wednesday, Jan. 12.
The 9th District Defender, Ibukun Adepoju, who is representing Avila, sent the following statement on Monday afternoon:
“Alexis is barely 18 herself. Whatever happened is already a tragedy for her family and the community. As humans, we should practice compassion as we wait for the justice system to work.”9th District Defender Ibukun Adepoju
The baby is now in New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department custody. CYFD says they’re extremely concerned and saddened. “If they are scared and are needing help, there is (sic) services that are able to help them. You can go onto the CYFD.org website to find services that are available in our community or then can go to, like I said, a police station, fire station, or hospital,” said Ilse Amaya, CYFD infant mental health coordinator.
CYFD says the department is prevented by law from providing specifics in this case but it does stress safe options for an infant to safely be turned over to their care. In New Mexico, the Safe Haven Law says you can turn over an infant safely within 90 days of birth before the parents will be criminally charged. That’s the second-longest period in the country to surrender infants.