A 22-year-old woman has been arrested and is facing charges in connection with abandoning her newborn baby who was later found dead in an Amazon warehouse in Phoenix last week, police said.
The woman was identified as Samantha Vivier, Phoenix police said. She faces one count of unlawful disposal of human remains, police said.
She had an initial court appearance Tuesday night.
Phoenix police confirmed Vivier is the baby girl’s mother and was employed at the Amazon facility. Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Vince Lewis said police do not suspect anyone else was involved.
Phoenix police received a call at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 16 about a dead baby girl found in the women’s restroom in the Amazon warehouse at 5333 W. Lower Buckeye Road, police said.
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The baby was wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in a trash can in the restroom, court records obtained Tuesday evening said, adding the woman had been working her shift at the time.
Janitorial staff at the facility were alerted to blood and vomit in the restroom at 3:30 p.m. and cleaned it, according to court records.
At about 8 p.m., a janitor was changing the trash bag in the restroom and noticed that it was “heavier than usual,” the court records said.
The janitor looked into the bag and saw another plastic bag with what appeared to be the head of an infant inside, records said. The janitor called a member of the facility’s medical staff, who removed the infant from the bag. The infant was “unresponsive” and “cold to the touch,” records said.
While trying to identify who left the infant in the restroom, a witness approached investigators and said a female co-worker, whom he identified as Vivier, approached him just before 2:30 p.m., stating that she had been sick in the women’s restroom for two hours and needed new pants, court records said.
Vivier called for a ride and left the facility at about 3:30 p.m., records said.
Investigators contacted Vivier, who confirmed that she had given birth in the women’s restroom during her shift, records said.
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Vivier provided investigators with her location so they could dispatch paramedics to provide her medical attention.
Investigators also responded to her address to interview Vivier, who told them she had given birth sometime after clocking out for lunch at about 11:30 a.m., records said.
Vivier said she was using the restroom when she began to bleed shortly before giving birth to a baby that was not breathing or moving, records said.
She remained in the stall for an “extended period of time” before an employee offered her paper towels and a plastic bag to clean up the blood on the floor, records said.
Vivier placed the newborn in the bag in the trash can and left the facility after being unable to get a new pair of pants, records said. Vivier called her friend for a ride home and told the friend that she had miscarried but did not go into further detail.
In an interview on Tuesday at Phoenix police headquarters, Vivier said she did not know she was pregnant and did not have any signs of being pregnant. She said she had gained approximately 15 pounds and hadn’t felt a baby moving inside of her, records said.
She hadn’t visited a doctor anytime within the last year for regular checkups, records said.
Vivier put the baby in the trash can so that it wouldn’t be discovered and “to hide the birth from the father of the baby,” records said. The document went on to say that Vivier told investigators she “panicked” after giving birth and was “confident” the baby was dead when she delivered it.
Vivier did not make an effort to get help or attempt to render aid, records said.
Phoenix fire personnel on scene confirmed the baby was dead.
Phoenix police said the baby appeared to be full-term to first responders.
Amazon issued a statement Tuesday after the arrest was announced.
“This is a terribly sad and tragic incident and we’re providing on-site counseling support as needed as the safety and wellness of our team continues to be our top priority,” the company said.
The death investigation continues with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office, police said.
Contributing: Brooke Miller, Dylan McKim and Nathan J. Fish, Arizona Republic