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WESTOVER, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Westover woman is facing child neglect charges after police say she left her baby in a backpack that she then placed in a crawlspace near an open window over the winter. The baby survived, but police said that was likely only because someone found her.
On Jan. 6, officers with the Westover Police Department responded to a call at a residence on Schley Street in Westover for a report of an abandoned child, according to a criminal complaint.
When officers arrived on the scene, they began an investigation which resulted in them learning that Brittany Hunt, 27, of Westover, “gave birth to a baby girl around Jan. 4” … “in a restroom believed to be a toilet” in the Schley Street home, officers said.
Individuals at the residence stated that “the newborn laid on the bathroom floor without proper care for over 24 hours,” after which time Hunt “placed the newborn baby girl inside of a backpack, zipped it, and hid the backpack inside of an upstairs crawlspace” which had “little to no traffic,” according to the complaint.
Hours after Hunt placed the newborn in the crawlspace, a man “found this backpack with the newborn inside on accident” while moving items into the crawlspace, and officers noted that the backpack was found near an open window on a day with a recorded temperature of 28 degrees, officers said.
When officers arrived, “the newborn was still located inside of the backpack and was covered in feces,” and when officers spoke with Hunt, she “adamantly denied any involvement and declared the child wasn’t hers,” according to the complaint.
Hunt later confessed to being the mother of the child, and “samples collected from Hunt” and “blood samples collected from the birthing site” showed that the newborn was Hunt’s, the toxicology report from the newborn’s umbilical cord found detectable levels of Xanax, methamphetamine, Suboxone and cocaine, officers said.
In her own statements, Hunt “made no attempt to get this newborn medical care nor did she attempt to nourish her,” and officers noted that “had the other party not found this newborn when he did, the child would have in fact succumbed to its environment,” according to the complaint.
Hunt has been charged with child neglect. She is being held in North Central Regional Jail.