Sosefina Amoa, the woman accused of killing her newborn child, was ordered held Friday after a judge found probable cause that she fatally suffocated her infant son. Amoa, 26, remains held pending a preliminary hearing December 3.
On October 11 at approximately 11:00 a.m. Amoa brought her unconscious infant son to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be asphyxiation, and the death was ruled a homicide. Several days later Amoa was arrested and charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of her child.
Charging documents say Amoa may have waited an entire day before telling anyone she had given birth.
In an interview with police, Amoa said that she had recently moved to the United States from her home country, Samoa, to become a nun with the “Little Sisters of the Poor” convent in Northeast D.C., documents say.
On the morning of Oct. 10, Amoa said she experienced significant abdominal pain and bleeding and that it “felt like something was coming out of her stomach.” Amoa said she stood on the floor while leaning on her bed, and the baby “came out,” falling straight down and striking the floor, she told police, according to court documents.
Amoa said she then fell to the ground and lay next to the baby, but was afraid that someone would hear the child crying and learn of her pregnancy. She placed a black wool garment over the child’s nose and mouth, and applied pressure for two to three minutes. When she removed the garment from the child’s nose and mouth, the child was not breathing, and she told police she knew the baby was dead, court documents say.
According to charging documents, Amoa told police she kept the child in her room at the convent for the rest of that day. Amoa said that during this time she contemplated throwing the baby into the “rubbish,” until the following morning came and she told a nun what had happened, court documents state.
The child was placed in a black luggage bag and transported with Amoa to Providence Hospital Emergency room. An autopsy found bruising on the child’s nose. Doctors believed the child to be a full-term pregnancy, documents say.
Amoa initially told police she didn’t know she was pregnant, the documents say, but later told police she knew about her pregnancy but didn’t want anyone at the convent to know about her previous sexual encounters. Amoa told police she wanted to name the child “Joseph.”
She remains held pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 3.
Charging documents have been added below.