Teen mother of newborn buried in Franklin County yard arrested

Jul. 22, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

LOUISBURG — A North Carolina teenager whose newborn baby died and was buried in her family's suburban yard faces a felony charge of concealing the birth, authorities said Tuesday.

The 16-year-old mother was charged with the lowest class of felony and released on $50,000 bond, Franklin County District Attorney Sam Currin said. The teenager has no prior criminal record, he said. That means a conviction could carry between 3 months and 8 months of community service under the state's sentencing grid.

Currin said he didn't know the girl's name because Franklin County sheriff's deputies handled the arrest. Sheriff Jerry Jones did not return a call seeking comment. North Carolina is one of only two states where 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted in adult court.

An arrest report from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office identified the teen as Ashley Marie Reed, of Louisburg.

Authorities last month found a full-term baby girl weighing 8.5 pounds buried in the backyard of a home in subdivision near Louisburg, about 30 miles northeast of Raleigh. Jones has said preliminary autopsy results showed someone may have cut the umbilical cord too closely and failed to stop the girl's bleeding. But the medical examiner may never be able to find the exact cause of death, Jones said.

The girl's parents didn't know their daughter was pregnant until the day the newborn was found, deputies said.

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The Dispatch staff contributed to this report.