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Newborn found dead under Pennsylvania porch, mother charged

SHENANGO TOWNSHIP, Penn. — A 23-year-old Pennsylvania woman has been charged with criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse after police found the body of her newborn baby boy in a crawl space beneath a porch, reports CBS Pittsburgh.

The suspect, Brittany Robinson, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment related to childbirth. State police said she was discharged early Monday morning and immediately taken into custody by state troopers.

Police say Robinson's father was preparing wiring for holiday lights when he found the baby deceased, wrapped in a t-shirt inside a plastic Walmart bag. They believe the baby was born and placed in the crawl space sometime during the 24 hours before he was discovered. 

It's not immediately clear how the child died.

"The baby was a viable 7-pound baby boy," said Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Eric Hermick. "They're still looking to determine if there was some exterior cause of death or the elements that killed the baby, but either way, the baby was born alive and cleaned up and then placed under there."

Police spent hours questioning Robinson's family, Hermick said.

"They've all indicated to us weren't they aware, that she kept it a secret," said Hermick. "There's laws in place that protect mothers if they don't want their child. They can drop it off at police station, a hospital, fire department… [There are] a lot of families out there that want children that can't have children."

Robinson also has an 8-year-old child; however, she does not have custody of that child.

The Lawrence County coroner, who's also investigating this case, says they're waiting on autopsy results to come back so they can determine the official cause of death.

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