I thought it was a cat. I was outside just a minute ago and I got my mother-in-law to come out, and we lifted the trash bags off, and there's a baby in the garbage can. I don't know how to get him out, neither one of us are tall enough. —911 call
Listen: 911 phone call
KEARNS — The first words the distraught woman tells the 911 dispatcher are gripping: "There's a baby in the garbage can."
On Aug. 26, a neighbor of Alicia Marie Englert, 23, found Englert's newborn baby girl in her garbage can near 5313 S. 5420 West. A copy of the 911 call made by the neighbor shortly after the discovery was made was obtained Tuesday by the Deseret News through a public records request.
As the clearly upset woman first talks to the dispatcher, the infant is still in the trash can.
"I thought it was a cat. I was outside just a minute ago and I got my mother-in-law to come out, and we lifted the trash bags off, and there's a baby in the garbage can," she said. "I don't know how to get him out, neither one of us are tall enough."
The woman tells dispatchers that "it looks newborn" and notes that the infant is breathing and crying. She said it looked like 8 to 10 inches of umbilical cord was still attached.
"Why would they do this?" she can be heard asking out loud. "I can't believe anybody would do this."
The woman and her mother-in-law eventually got their neighbor — Englert's father, who said he was unaware that his daughter had given birth or was even pregnant — to help. Four minutes into the 911 call, the woman tells the dispatcher that the neighbor was able to grab the infant out of the trash can and they were wrapping it in a blanket.
The woman then repeats several times what happened as she sounds to be in disbelief over her discovery.
"I came out at 6 o'clock when my husband went to work and I heard something that I thought was a cat in distress, and I couldn't find him because it was still dark. And then when I looked in the garbage I saw something that looked like a paw so I went in and got my mother-in-law to help, and when we took the bag off the top, it was a baby," she said.
"Whoever it is covered him up with the trash, so they were in there for awhile."
Five minutes into the call, the woman says she can hear the sirens from the responding emergency crews. About a minute later she tells the dispatcher the paramedics are pulling up to her house.
Police and prosecutors say they later learned that Englert had given birth to the child two days earlier in the bathroom of her house and essentially ignored it before placing the child in the neighbor's trash can as she left to go to work. Englert lived in the basement of her parents' house.
She is charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, in 3rd District Court. Prosecutors contend Englert knew what she did was wrong. Her parents have said that Englert has "special needs" and "doesn't process things correctly."
Englert's attorneys at the office of Weyher Fulkerson issued a statement Tuesday indicating that family members had told police that Englert "was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome at birth and mental retardation. We are confident current evaluations will confirm that."
"Our client and her family are grateful the infant is healthy and being cared for in a loving and capable home," according to the statement.
A judge recently agreed to allow Englert to have a supervised "goodbye" meeting with the infant under the watch of the Division of Child and Family Services. Englert's mother confirmed Tuesday that the meeting occurred and that the baby, who is in a foster home, is doing well.
A competency review hearing for Englert is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Contributing: Sandra Yi
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