Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Immigrant from El Salvador dumps her baby to keep boyfriend

Jamie Stockwell:

After secretly giving birth inside a bathroom, Maria Aguirre had two options, she later told detectives: Dispose of her newborn daughter or risk losing her boyfriend of seven months.

"She was afraid to lose her boyfriend because the child wasn't his," said Arlington County Detective Rosa Ortiz, who testified at a preliminary hearing yesterday for Aguirre, who is charged with first-degree murder.

So Aguirre threw the baby away.

Aguirre, 20, was arrested after police found the infant's body in a trash heap April 1 outside the Arlington house where she and her boyfriend rented a room. After the hearing in Arlington's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Judge George D. Varoutsos agreed that there was enough evidence against Aguirre to send the case to a grand jury next month.

Aguirre repeatedly wiped her eyes and covered her mouth during the hour-long hearing.

The boyfriend, Melvin Portillo, testified in Spanish through an interpreter that he noticed Aguirre gaining weight but that every time he asked her about it, she insisted she wasn't pregnant.

"I believed her," Portillo said.

On March 31, hours before police received a report about a dead infant, Portillo said, he grew increasingly concerned about his girlfriend after she complained of a severe backache.

After they rested for a bit, Portillo went outside the house in the 3700 block of South 16th Street to work on some blueprints with his cousin, and Aguirre locked herself in a bathroom. At one point, Portillo knocked on the door and asked how she was feeling, and she told him she was going to take a bath to alleviate the back pain, he testified.

About 45 minutes later, after his cousin had gone home, he knocked again on the bathroom door. There was no answer, and he testified that there was only silence. So he knocked again and again and called out her name until she unlocked the door, he said.

"She looked very different, almost as if she were about to pass out," he testified.

Splashed on the edges of the bathtub and on the floor was blood, and wads and wads of tissue paper were stuffed into a trash bag, Portillo said. He asked her what had happened and she said that "she was hemorrhaging but that she would be fine," he testified.

While he began to clean up the blood, Aguirre took the trash bag into the kitchen. In the bathtub, he found the placenta and wrapped it in two trash bags, although he said he had no idea what it was.

Realizing that something wasn't right, he insisted that the couple go to a hospital, Portillo testified. After a while, Aguirre agreed. There, it was determined that she had just given birth.

Aguirre, who moved to the area from El Salvador last September, leaving a 3-year-old daughter behind, told no one about the pregnancy, she told police. After feeling ill, she delivered the baby and tore the umbilical cord herself.

The infant "gasped for air . . . but didn't cry," Ortiz testified Aguirre told her. Seconds later, Ortiz said, Aguirre put the baby in the trash bag and closed it, knowing the girl was still breathing.

"She said she knew it would eventually die," Ortiz said.

At the autopsy the next day, a gruesome discovery was made, another detective testified. A mass of tissue paper, two inches long and an inch in diameter, was found deep in the baby's throat.

Aguirre's attorneys, father-and-son team Denman and Jason Rucker, said after the hearing that they are awaiting the results of the autopsy. They said they don't know whether the baby was delivered full-term or how exactly she died.

Hispanic Family Values?


At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"although he said he had no idea what it was"

You should have highlighted this part as well: what kind of adult cannot recognize afterbirth, or at the least have a very strong suspicion about what it is.

"gaining weight"

And what kind of idiot cannot tell the difference between weight gain and pregnancy?

"the child wasn't his"


Not much else can or should be concluded about these two, but it is more than appropriate to point out that, demographically speaking, out-of-wedlock pregnancy is more prevalent among Hispanics.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"who moved to the area from El Salvador"

No doubt Post correct-speak for having entered the country illegally: your average El Salvadorean cannot just move to the Washington DC area.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crikey there are some ignorant people leaving comments on this site; this is the second ridiculous remark I've read here in the last ten minutes. Talk about generalisation and missing the point.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Marco said...

Talk about generalisation and missing the point

And that point would be?


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