By Daily Mail
An 18-year-old New Mexico mother who was caught on video throwing her newborn child into a dumpster told police she did not know she was pregnant until the day before she delivered her baby in a bathroom.
Alexis Avila was arrested and charged with attempted murder and child abuse after her infant son was found clinging to life on Friday night in 30-degree weather, nearly six hours after being tossed in the trash.
Avila was released from jail after posting $10,000 unsecured bond less than two hours after her arrest. She will be arraigned at a later time at Lea County District Court.
August Fons, the acting chief of Hobbs police department, said he had never before come across a case like this.
‘If you are struggling with a new infant, the best response is to find somebody who can help you with that,’ he said.
‘Contact us, and let us help you through the situation.’
Surveillance video showed a woman arriving in a white Volkswagen Jetta before opening the back door and tossing a black trash bag into a dumpster in Hobbs, New Mexico, at around 2pm on January 7.
Six hours later, footage showed three people looking through the dumpster before one of them found the infant inside. Incredibly, the newborn was alive, with the umbilical cord still attached.
Fons said their quick action was ‘absolutely pivotal’ in saving the baby boy’s life.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by KRQE on Monday, Avila confessed to throwing away her child. The 18-year-old mother told police she did not know she was pregnant until she went to a doctor for a stomach pain on Thursday.
The following day, she delivered her son in a bathroom at her parents’ home.
Avila said she had broken up with the baby’s alleged father back in August 2021.
After giving birth, Avila said she ‘panicked.’
She wrapped her son in a towel, placed him in a white plastic bag containing some trash, and a larger black trash bag, and drove around, before throwing the child in the dumpster at the Broadmoor Shopping Center at around 2pm.
New Mexico has a Safe Haven law, which allows a person to leave an infant not more than 90 days old with the staff of a hospital without fear of criminal prosecution.
It was not until nearly 8pm that evening that a group of dumpster divers, named by police as Michael Green, Hector Jesso and April Meadow rescued the infant after hearing his cries.
They told police they initially thought it was a kitten or a dog.
Meadow kept the baby warm by holding him in her arms until help arrived.
Avila’s son was taken to a hospital in Hobbs before being transferred to another hospital in Lubbock, Texas, which has a more advanced NICU unit.
When doctors assessed the baby, they found that his body temperate was so low that it did not register, indicating hypothermia. The newborn has since been given a blood transfusion, and put on a feeding tube and oxygen.
Police said the baby was in a stable condition at the hospital on Monday.
During her interview with the police, Avila was quoted as referring to her child as ‘it.’
Avila’s mother, Martha Avila, told investigators she was not aware of her daughter’s pregnancy.
Police later executed a search warrant at the family’s home and seized physical evidence, including bloody clothing.
Joe Imbriale, the owner of Rig Outfitters and Home Store, where the security camera footage was captured, said he was asked by police to review video on Friday night.
He told KOB: ‘Something wasn’t right, I saw the officers’ faces, and they did not look right.
‘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’.’
Imbriale told KRQE that the video recording included five hours of footage showing unsuspecting people ‘dumping trash on this baby.’
The footage shows Avila driving into the parking lot in a white sedan and throwing a black garbage bag – containing her newborn – in it, before driving off and abandoning the child.
More footage shows the moment the child was rescued after people apparently heard the newborn’s cries.
Meadows pulled out a trash bag and reacted to what was inside.
She immediately began tending to the baby.