A New Mexico teenager who confessed to police that she was the mother of a newborn baby found discarded in a dumpster and that she was the one who left the child has been charged with attempted murder and felony child abuse.
In a statement shared on Facebook, the Hobbs Police Department said that at about 8 p.m. last Friday, officers were called to the 1400 block of N. Thorp Street about a baby found in a dumpster.
Shortly after confirming the report, they provided assistance to the newborn. Hobbs EMS transported the child to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital for pediatric treatment. After reviewing the surveillance video of the area, police identified 18-year-old Alexis Avila as a suspect in the case. She later confessed that she gave birth to the baby at another location before leaving the child in a dumpster.
Avila is scheduled for a court appearance in Lovington on Wednesday afternoon. She is charged with attempting to commit first-degree murder.
Joe Imbriale, the owner of Rig Outfitters and Home Store, told KOB4 that when police called him Friday night with a request to view his surveillance footage, he knew “something wasn't right.”
“I saw the officers' faces, and they did not look right. They really didn't,” he said.
"I said, 'What is it we are looking for?' And she goes, 'We're looking for somebody who dumped a black garbage bag in your dumpster.' I turned around, I said, 'Please don't tell me it was a baby,'" the business owner said.
The video shows a woman believed to be Avila leaving the dumpster at about 2 p.m. Friday. Around six hours later, three people are shown searching through the dumpster and pulling out a black bag.
A woman in the group pulls out the newborn and cares for it, while a male quickly uses his phone. Police later arrived on the scene.
"I was in shock just to see this,” Imbriale said.
According to a criminal complaint, Avila told police that she didn’t know she was pregnant until a Jan. 6 doctor's appointment she had for abdominal pain.
She said the day she gave birth, the baby came "unexpectedly" when she went to the bathroom. She said she panicked as she cut the umbilical cord.
She wrapped the baby in a towel, placed the child in a bag with some trash, then put them in another bag and tied the bag shut. When asked what she thought would happen to the child after it was placed in the dumpster, she said nothing.
One of Avila's school friends at Hobbs High School, who declined to be named but has known her since freshman year, challenged her claim to police that she did not know she was pregnant in an interview with The Daily Mail.
“I heard her talk about being pregnant around late September, early October,” the friend said. “She never expressed that it was a bad thing that she was pregnant.”
On Dec. 17, she reportedly dropped out of high school. The 16-year-old father of the child, who was not named in the report because he is a minor, told the publication that Avila was aware of her pregnancy well before January but told him she had a miscarriage.
The baby boy is reportedly currently in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department. Those wanting to make donations to help the baby can contact the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department, the police department announced Tuesday night.
The teen father says he wants custody of the baby and has called him Saul, according to The Daily Mail. While he remains younger than the legal age of consent in New Mexico, which is 17, Avila is not expected to face statutory rape charges because she is less than four years older than him.
Imbriale said he’s now having difficulty sleeping.
“I can't sleep at night just knowing that this baby was just tossed in a dumpster like that. I'm sorry, but who does that?” he asked. “That is evil. I don't have words for it."