A woman who was studying to be a Catholic nun in Washington, D.C. was arrested on Wednesday after police said that she smothered her own newborn baby so that others would not hear the crying and know that she had been sexually active.
Washington D.C. police said that Sosefina Amoa arrived at Little Sisters of the Poor on Oct. 5 and the 6-pound 2-ounce infant was born in her bedroom on Oct. 10.
According to The Associated Press, police concluded that Amoa was afraid that the nuns would discover that she had lied about being sexually active and smothered the child to prevent it from crying.
She later smuggled the child out of the facility in “a small black luggage bag” to Providence Hospital, which immediately contacted police.
“She said that she placed a black wool garment over the child’s nose and mouth and applied pressure with her hand for two to three minutes,” a court document said. “The mother said that prior to placing the wool garment over the child’s nose and mouth, the child was breathing and had cried. The mother said that after she removed the garment from the child’s nose and mouth, the child was not breathing and she knew the child was dead.”
After the medical examiner determined the death to be homicide by asphyxiation, Amoa was charged with first degree murder on Wednesday.
Amoa stated that she had not known that she was pregnant.
“We all feel this is a very tragic situation,” Little Sisters of the Poor Sister Constance Veit said in a statement. “We are just praying for everyone involved. Now that it is in the hands of the legal system, we will not be providing any further comment.”
Watch this video from WJLA, broadcast Oct. 19, 2013.
[Photo: Catholic nun holds a candle at a worship service via Shutterstock]