Prosecutor: No evidence baby in Monroe motel trash can was alive at birth

A Hamilton woman has been indicted on a charge related to a fetus being found in a Monroe motel trash can in October.

Rebecca Houck, 30, was indicted on Monday by a Warren County grand jury on a charge of gross abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony. The charge stems from an Oct. 9, 2020 incident in which the baby was found dead at Motel 75 on Garver Road.

The fetus was 23 to 27 weeks, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office report, not as far along as first believed. But the evidence could not prove the baby girl was born alive.

“It was still considered to be viable, but you didn’t have evidence of a live birth,” said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell. “Based on our evidence, we believe she intentionally ordered a drug online to essentially induce an abortion.”

That is not a criminal offense if the mother does it, even if it was done post viability, he said.

“The only crime we had was dumping the baby girl in the trash can,” Fornshell said.

Police responded to the motel at about 10 a.m. that day on a report of a “possible abandoned baby.”

Warren County Coroner’s investigator Doyle Burke previously told this news organization that the body of a girl was found in a trashcan in one of the rooms. The mother had gone to an area hospital after a 911 call was placed.

Also found in the the room were a clear plastic bag containing two grams of a crystal rock substance, a bag containing white powder, gummy worms laced with an unknown substance and paper tabs laced with an unknown substance, possibly acid, according to the Monroe police report.

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