Woman delivers baby in hospital bathroom, tries flushing it down toilet

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa woman is facing charges after police say she gave birth in a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics bathroom, then tried to flush the baby down the toilet because she thought it was stillborn.

The incident happened Sunday night in a restroom at the John Colloton Pavilion. A criminal complaint filed in Johnson County says 22-year-old Ashley Hautzenrader entered the bathroom and delivered a baby in the toilet.

Hautzenrader said she did not know she was pregnant when she entered the restroom and thought the baby was dead because it didn’t cry. She tried flushing the baby down the toilet, but then put the baby in a pillowcase, which she placed in the trash can.

The complaint says she cleaned the bathroom and then left. UIHC employees later found the baby, alive.

Officers were able to locate Hautzenrader and she allegedly admitted to putting the baby in the trash, claiming she thought the child was dead. She also told them she wasn’t aware she was pregnant.

State court records from May 2015 show an order establishing paternity and support for a child Hautzenrader previously gave birth to.

She faces one count of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor. Hautzenrader was being held in the Johnson County Jail but was released Tuesday morning.

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