Teen busted at Victoria's Secret carrying dead baby in shopping bag 'now faces homicide charges as cops reveal child was born alive'
- Tiona Rodriguez and Francis Estevez, both 17, were stopped for suspected shoplifting and a security guard found the baby's body inside a bag
- Rodriguez told police officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do
- But sources claim that an autopsy showed the baby was born alive at full term; they are investigating whether he died of asphyxiation
A teenager found carrying a dead baby in a plastic bag while allegedly stealing lingerie in a New York City Victoria's Secret on Thursday now faces a possible homicide charge, sources have claimed.
An autopsy has revealed that 17-year-old Tiona Rodriguez's baby boy was actually born alive at full term and could have died of asphyxiation, sources told the New York Daily News. Cops are now investigating the cause of his death and have not ruled out another explanations.
The grisly discovery was made when Rodriguez and her friend Francis Estevez, also 17, were stopped by a security guard as they left the store in Herald Square on suspicion of shoplifting.
But as well as allegedly finding hundreds of dollars worth of stolen goods inside the bags, the guard noticed there was a strong odor inside and found a tiny body under the loot.
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Arrests: Tiona Rodriguez (left) was carrying a dead baby boy in her shopping bag when she was stopped on suspicion of shoplifting with her friend Francis Estevez (right) in New York on Thursday
Rodriguez told officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do, so had stashed the baby in the bag.
She was taken to Bellevue Hospital where it is believed she remains under police watch.
A few hours later the fetus was removed by Medical Examiner's Office workers, who also removed other bags of potential evidence. Photos captured by DNAinfo show the moment it was taken away.
On her Facebook page late on Wednesday night, the teenager had complained about period cramps, and added that she was excited about an upcoming job interview at Chipotle.
Found: Investigators remove evidence bags containing the male fetus from the scene on Thursday
Medical attention: Tiona Rodriguez, who said she had had a miscarriage, is taken away in a wheelchair
Rodriguez and Estevez are both charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Estevez allegedly had $230 worth of clothes and cosmetics in her bag.
One of Tiona's neighbors said she was shocked to hear the teenager had been pregnant.
Zami Ford, 17, said: 'I’ve known her since she was little. She was probably nervous and didn't know what to do. She would never hurt anyone.'
neighbor, Lydia Perez, said: 'She had to have hidden that pregnancy for
a while. I saw her outside here the other day with her family, and her
Health problems: Tiona had complained of period pains the day before she was stopped in Victoria's Secret
Teen mom: Tiona, who has a two-year-old son, told police she had a miscarriage the day before
'There was a whole bunch of joy. You would never know there were any problems.'
Customers at Victoria’s Secret were also shocked to hear that a fetus was found in the store, but most sympathized with the schoolgirl.
'She must be going through a big depression. She must have been wondering how she was going to get rid of it,' Yvonne Sonera told the Daily News.
Shocking discovery: A police officer outside the Victoria's Secret branch where a fetus was found in a bag
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