COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) -- A Columbia woman who suffocated her newborn boy in a zipped plastic bag after her home birth was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse, ther Howard County State's Attorney's office said.
Moira Akers, 41, of Carved Stone in Columbia, was initially charged with one count of first-degree murder.
Howard County Police were called to Howard County General Hospital on November 1, 2018, after Akers had been transported from her residence by paramedics. She did not disclose the birth to medics who treated her.
Investigators responded to Akers home for a welfare check and found a newborn boy in a zipped plastic bag under blankets in a closet. The baby was dead. Akers told police the baby was stillborn.
"Something about the incident just seemed suspicious," a HCPD spokesperson said in 2018. "We quickly determined the woman had recently given birth in her home and our investigators responded there."
An autopsy report released in March 2019 classified the death as a homicide, saying the infant was full-term and alive at birth. The cause of death was declared as asphyxiation and exposure.
Akers' internet search history revealed many searches on how to terminate a pregnancy, according to police.
"This was truly one of the most difficult cases my office has ever had to prosecute because we had the burden of proving the baby was born alive," said Howard County State's Attorney Rich Gibson. "Thanks to the great work of HCPD detectives, our prosecutors, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and other experts, we were able to prove to a jury that the egregious and unconscionable actions of Ms. Akers ultimately led to the murder of her own child."
Akers will be sentenced in July and could face up to life in prison.
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