NJ teen mom suffocated newborn, boyfriend left body dumpster, cops say
NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP — The teenage mother who hid her pregnancy from her family suffocated her newborn and then placed the baby's body in a bag, which her boyfriend dumped in the trash, prosecutors said.
Jada M. McClain, 18, of Neptune Township, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree disturbing or desecrating human remains. Quaimere Mohammed, 19, of Asbury Park, whom McClain identified as child's father, is charged with second-degree disturbing or desecrating human remains. They are both being held at the Monmouth County jail.
Investigators said McClain admitting giving birth while sitting on the toilet, although she said the baby never fell in and was alive.
She also admitted that she pressed on the newborn's chest in order to try to stop it from breathing, investigators said.
According to an affidavit obtained from the Prosecutor's Office, the Neptune High School senior hid her pregnancy from her parents since July, when she was 17, and then gave birth on March 29.
She shared news of her child's birth with a friend via Snapchat. The friend called police on Thursday.
According to the affidavit, McClain had told her friend that the delivery had been painful. She did not say where she gave birth to her son, who she named Legend, but the friend told police that she recognized the room as McClain's bedroom.
The friend said McClain shared two pictures of her son, who appeared to be “blue and purple” with “dry” lips and “puffy” eyes.
McClain had been dating Mohammed when she used a home pregnancy test to confirm her pregnancy, according to investigators' affidavit. McClain and Mohammad stopped talking after she became pregnant but in February discussed what they would do once the child was born, including killing him. McClain told Mohammad that “they have to do what’s best for them.”
Investigators said McClain later told them that she had considered an abortion but she ruled it out because she was underage at the time and she would have had to let her mother know. State law, however, does not require abortion providers to obtain a parent or guardian's approval for a minor seeking abortion.
During the pregnancy, she showed friends her baby bump and said she was taking some kind of pills, alcohol and marijuana to try and kill the child, investigators said.
McClain called Mohammed on Sunday morning to tell him that Legend had been born. She wrapped the child in a blanket, placed him in an trash bag and together they drove to the ocean. They then drove to the Washington Village apartment complex in Asbury Park and placed the bag in a dumpster.
McClain was arrested Thursday as she left her job in Wall and spoke to police after waiving her Miranda Rights, according to the affidavit.
New Jersey's Safe Haven Law allows people to safely surrender an infant legally and anonymously at designated public safety sites across the Garden State, including hospitals, police stations, fire houses and ambulance and rescue squad facilities that are staffed 24/7. Learn more at njsafehaven.org.