H/T to Marti
Posted: October 29, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
A lead investigator into reports that a baby was born alive at a Hialeah, Fla., abortion business, then killed, has told WND he believes charges will be filed in the case, and that announcement could come as early as a mid-November.
"My goal is to see that charges are filed," said Hialeah Deputy Chief Mark Overton yesterday. "The evidence reflects that this was a homicide. We're moving forward with that mindset. I believe our evidence has indicated (and) I think we have probable cause to bring charges."
The investigation was launched in July after investigators, on a tip, went to the "A Gynecologists Diagnostic Center" abortion business and discovered the remains of a baby in a red biohazard bag.
A search warrant issued in support of that case noted that the tipster provided the name of the little girl's mother, who had intended to have an abortion, and police officers met with her.
"The complainant advised on Thursday, 20 July 2006, at approximately 9:30 a.m. she arrived at the clinic for a pre-scheduled abortion. At approximately 2:30 p.m. the Complainant gave birth in the recovery room of the clinic. The complainant observed the baby moving and gasping for air for approximately five (5) minutes.
"The staff began screaming that the baby was alive; at which time. Ms. Belkis Gonzales cut the umbilical cord, threw it into a red bag with black printing. Ms. Gonzales then swept the baby, with her hands, into the same red bag along with the gauze used during the procedure," the search warrant said.
Overton told WND that the police department is awaiting confirmation of its plans from the local state's attorney's office.
"They're waiting for all the medical examiner's reports officially to be typed, and also an opinion from a neonatal specialist," he said. "We'll be getting together and meeting. I hope that we'll be filing some type of charges, unlawful killing charges."
He said the state of Florida has a law defining a live birth, and he's already contacted the local federal prosecutor about potential federal charges under the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2000 should the state not follow through.
"We've already put things in motion," he told WND. He said he expects the next step to be taken by authorities by mid-November.
Authorities earlier had confirmed to WND that the baby was born alive, but part of the investigation focused on whether the infant was at 22, 23 or 24 weeks, which involves the girl's viability, or ability to live outside the womb.
At the time the body was found, a lawyer for the owner of the abortion business partly owned by Gonzalez issued a statement that no crime was committed, and an 18-year-old had had an abortion without complications.
"My clients run an abortion clinic. It's a legal business," Regina DeMoraes-Millan told television station WFOR-TV in Miami-Fort Lauderdale at the time. "Right now police are just investigating a 9-1-1 call."
A spokeswoman for Operation Rescue, a pro-life activist organization, said the charges apparently could be second-degree murder. Abortion business co-owners Gonzalez and Siomara Senises both were working in the clinic when the 18-year-old arrived for the abortion, according to spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger.
Affidavits used to obtain the search warrant reported that an anonymous caller on July 22 reported the baby's live birth, and death. However, a search of the clinic that day revealed nothing.
The documents indicate another witness told police that a "doctor" had drowned the baby before disposing of the body.
Then on July 28, another anonymous call came in, with the informant telling police the baby's body had been in the red plastic biohazard bag – along with the caustic chemical chloride – on the roof of the clinic "for the expressed purpose of causing the accelerated decomposition of the body in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence."
That anonymous call also told police the body had been retrieved and was then inside the clinic. Officers who arrived with a search warrant found the remains.
Sullenger said the medical reports in the case will be key, since in Florida it is illegal to do abortions in clinics after 24 weeks.
Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague has told reporters that she also is focusing on medical reports, because at 22 weeks, "you're talking about a fetus that could be aborted legally."
But Operation Rescue chief Troy Newman noted that in the end, the baby's age doesn't matter.
"If she was born alive, as the mother and the police informant say she was, then that baby deserved every protection under the law that any other person has, regardless of her age," he said.
Newman was getting impatient. "I don't understand why there would be any equivocation in this case. If a litter of puppies had been tossed in a bag and thrown up on a roof to die, no one would rest until the perpetrators were brought to justice," he said.
The clinic is question remains closed, however many of the same principals are operating another abortion business several miles away, officials said.
At the time the body was found, a spokeswoman for Florida Right to Life told WND that babies' bodies in an abortion clinic are just "business as usual" for the industry.
Spokeswoman Linda Bell said there are very few protections for the mother, and essentially none for the unborn children, as a "result of legalized abortion in our nation."
Hialeah investigator Det. Tony Rodriquez expressed immediate concern about the situation, too.
"In 24 years in law enforcement, I have never seen a case like this," he had told reporters.