10/12/04 — Teen mother charged with infant's death

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Teen mother charged with infant's death

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 12, 2004 2:00 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A Guatemalan teen-ager was in the Wayne County Jail this morning charged with murdering her newborn son.

Mount Olive police initially charged Gloria Vasquez, 18, of Cleveland Drive with concealing the birth of a child. The baby was found around 4:30 p.m. Saturday in a nearby mobile home on Grainger Place. The investigating officer was directed to a back bedroom of the mobile home by members of a cleaning crew that had been working there.

One of the witnesses had started to remove a blanket from the bedroom, and it came unrolled, exposing the infant's body. The umbilical cord and placenta were inside the blanket.

Ms. Vasquez was placed under $50,000 bond Saturday. The charge was changed to murder on Monday after a report from the state medical examiner said the baby had been born alive. Her bond was revoked.

The teen-ager may not have known about doctors and hospitals, says the president of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, J.R. Peralta. He said this morning he was going to contact the Guatemalan Council, an advocacy group, about the situation.

Ms. Vasquez has lived in Wayne County about six months after moving from New Jersey.

Peralta said he has been working with the Guatemalan community, and many of them don't understand about going to doctors or emergency rooms. They have babies on their own in Guatemala, he said, and the mother may not have known what to do.