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Baby's death investigated

September 22, 1998

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of a newborn who was taken to Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown with her teenage mother Saturday night, according to Senior Trooper R.J. Elswick.

Police wouldn't release the identity of the mother, a 15-year-old resident of the Falling Waters, W.Va., area, Elswick said.

It appears the teenager gave birth to the child after hiding her pregnancy from her parents, he said.

When the girl's mother discovered she'd had the baby, she took her daughter and the newborn to the hospital, Elswick said.

Elswick said he was called to Washington County Hospital by a Maryland State Police trooper shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital, Elswick said.

He couldn't say if the baby was still alive when the girl's mother discovered it.

An autopsy was being performed in Baltimore to determine when and how the baby died, he said.

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Pending autopsy results, the death was being treated as a suspicious death, Elswick said.

"When a death occurs, we investigate it, regardless," he said.

Elswick said he was awaiting the coroner's report to release any details about the case.

- Kerry Lynn Fraley

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