GREENVILLE, S.C. (WLOS) — Police say a Greenville woman is charged homicide by child neglect after putting her newborn baby into the garbage at a restaurant.
On July 12, 2017 officers responded to the La Parilla Mexican Restaurant at 1 Market Point Drive in Greenville, in regards to a newborn in cardiac arrest.
Upon arrival, Greenville police say, the baby’s mother and grandmother, the mother’s boyfriend, and at least two employees advised that the mother had just given birth in the restaurant bathroom.
Greenville County EMS arrived on the scene and rushed the newborn to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Greenville Police detectives and Greenville County Forensic personnel then responded to the scene to begin the death investigation.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy on July 13, and could find no medical reason why the child died after birth. The medical examiner also noted that dirt and gravel were found on the baby’s body, and relayed this information to the coroner.
When deputy coroners returned to the restaurant for further investigation, other employees told them a different version of events than the original one provided the day of the incident.
The manager informed them that that Estela Ruiz-Gomez, the baby’s mother, busses tables at the restaurant, and Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez, the baby’s grandmother, is a dishwasher.
According to the employees, Ruiz-Gomez went to the bathroom during her break because her stomach was hurting. When the manager went to get Ruiz-Gomez out of the bathroom at the end of her break, she stated that her stomach still hurt and the manager then went to get her mother to check on her.
A short time later, Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez exited the bathroom and explained that Ruiz-Gomez needed to go to the hospital.
Shortly after they came out of the bathroom, an employee emptied the trash in the men’s and women’s restrooms. Because she was having difficulty lifting the trash bag, she dragged the bag across the parking lot, causing it to tear and a newborn baby to fall out of the bag onto the pavement.
Ruiz-Gomez’s boyfriend, the baby’s father, was present when the baby fell out of the trash bag, and retrieved the baby from the ground and took him back inside the restaurant.
It was at this point, authorities say, that EMS was called to the restaurant.
Because of this new information, Ruiz-Gomez and Lorenza Gomez Rodriguez were arrested for child neglect.
On July 17, 2017, detectives met with the medical examiner, who indicated that the baby’s death would be ruled a homicide, because he would likely have survived had he not been placed in the trash.
On July 18, detectives charged Ruiz-Gomez with homicide by child neglect and Rodriguez with aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.
They later found that Homeland Security has an active warrant against Ruiz-Gomez for not leaving the country when ordered to do so in 2016.
Homeland Security is investigating both women due to their immigration status.