The daughter of a Baseball Hall of Famer has been arrested after giving birth to a baby in the woods amid freezing temperatures and misleading police about the abandoned infant’s whereabouts, officials said.
Alexandra Eckersley, 26, was arrested Monday, accused of abandoning her newborn infant in a tent “without heat or proper clothing in the woods” in frigid 15-degree weather, according to charging documents.
She is the daughter of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and longtime Red Sox announcer Dennis Eckersley, a representative for the baseball player confirmed to NBC Boston.
Eckersley called 911 just before 12:30 a.m. on Monday stating she had given birth in the woods in Manchester and police, along with fire and medical personnel, responded to the scene and searched for the child to no avail, according to the arrest affidavit.
Given the dire circumstances and extreme cold, a state police K-9 unit joined the search in the attempt to locate “what they believed would be a body at that time” the affidavit said.
After nearly an hour, Eckersley, described as homeless, “revealed the true location of the baby and led officers to the area,” police said.
The baby was found “alive and moving” in a large tent made of tarps at a campsite. The child was found laying on the ground next to the bed behind a blanket and was hospitalized.
An hour and 13 minutes passed from the 911 call to the time the child was found, the affidavit stated.
Court documents reveal the child was likely born prematurely on Christmas Day and weighed 4.41 pounds.
A physician told police that the size of the child was consistent with Eckersley being six months into her pregnancy at the time of the birth, according to court documents.
Eckersley told detectives that she was in pain on Christmas Day and believed she was constipated or hemorrhaging. She told an EMT that she had “no idea” she was pregnant, the affidavit said.
However, she had told a confidante one week earlier that she was four to five months pregnant, per the affidavit.
When asked why she walked away after giving birth, she responded “that she did not know what to do,” the filing said.
A responding officer believed that she was under the influence of drugs stating “that at times Eckersley was unsteady on her feet and that she would thrash around side to side.”
Another officer also said in the affidavit that it appeared she may have been under the influence of some form of narcotics. She admitted to this officer that she uses cocaine and marijuana, but said the last time she used the substances was two days prior.
Eckersley eventually told detectives that she gave birth and she and her boyfriend left the tent and walked across a nearby footbridge to wait for an ambulance. She said she tried to call 911 several times but the calls didn’t go through.
When asked by an officer why she didn’t take the baby with her she said, “What do they tell you when a plane goes down? Save yourself first,” according to the affidavit.
She admitted that she and her boyfriend agreed to tell police the birth took place in a different area so that police would not find and take their tents, the affidavit said.
She was arrested Monday and charged with reckless conduct, second-degree assault by extreme indifference, falsifying physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a child, according to documents filed in Hillsborough Superior Court.
She appeared in court from her hospital bed via phone on Tuesday and was ordered to be held on $3,000 bail, NBC Boston reported.
Her attorney argued in court Tuesday that Eckersley was traumatized.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all that she was disoriented, confused, possibly suffering from hypothermia if she had just given birth outside in the elements,” Jordan Strand said, the station reported.