Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the criminal charge in the plea.
DENVER (KDVR) — A Highlands Ranch woman has been sentenced to 40 years in the Department of Corrections for the death of her newborn, whose body was found in a bathroom cabinet at her home.
The matter came to light when the woman, Peyton M. Green, now 22, went to the UCHealth Highlands Ranch emergency room on Sept. 26, 2020. She consented to a sexual assault nurse’s examination and medical staff found injuries consistent with childbirth.
Blood work and other tests also confirmed Green was pregnant. However, she denied ever having intercourse or birthing a child.
The case was reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and deputies investigated Green’s home. With her father’s permission, deputies searched the house and found the newborn baby’s body wrapped and hidden beneath a bathroom sink.
Deputies also reached out to an ex-boyfriend of Green’s in Colorado Springs who said the couple had previously had intercourse.
Detectives also searched Green’s phone and found text messages from Green to her ex-boyfriend and another friend saying she was pregnant.
“This defendant attempted to conceal a murder by lying to her parents, law enforcement, and medical staff,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo said in a release. “In the end, the evidence is indisputable. Blood work, an ultrasound, and surgery to repair Green’s injuries confirmed she was pregnant.”
An autopsy of the infant indicates Green had a live birth.
“Had this mother told the truth about her pregnancy or called for help after giving birth, this tragedy may have been avoided,” 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement. “There were multiple ways to handle an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy, but her selfish and deceitful actions to hide a birth by dumping her newborn’s body in a bag like a piece of trash certainly warrants a lengthy prison sentence.”
On Thursday, Green pleaded guilty to child abuse-knowing and recklessly causing death and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.