On the second day of trial for a woman accused in the death of her newborn, a video was played for the jury in which the woman described her actions to police.
Jessica Cruz, who is charged with murder and concealment of a homicide, was 19 at the time of her arrest in 2011, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In the video, which was played in Cook County’s Rolling Meadows branch court Wednesday, Cruz says she didn’t know she was going to go into labor that morning until she started feeling sick.
“I felt a sharp pain and then there was a lot of blood,” she said in the videotaped statement.
Cruz gave birth inside the bathroom at a Streamwood resale shop, and didn’t take the time to determine the gender of the child. She said she was panicked because she had hidden the pregnancy from her mother, who was waiting for her outside.+
Two Streamwood police detectives, Miguel Cabrales and Juan Carrillo, conducted the interrogation in Spanish as Cruz wept and repeated her fear that her mother would find out, the Tribune reports. In response to their questions, Cruz said she never heard the baby cry and didn’t remember tying the bag around his neck before placing it in the trash basket.
According to the Chicago Tribune, defense attorneys tried to show that Cabrales and Carrillo persuaded a desperate Cruz to make the statement by using terms of endearment such as “sweetheart” and “love” and letting her see her daughter, who was then 18 months old.
Store employees later found the infant in the garbage and called police. The Tribune reports that witnesses and video surveillance from a nearby convenience store led police to Cruz.
Prosecutors charged that Cruz murdered the baby by tying the bag tightly around his neck and strangling him, leaving him to die in the trash can because she didn’t want him.
If convicted, Cruz could face life in prison.