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Pa. woman charged with concealing infant's death

July 26, 2000

Pa. woman charged with concealing infant's death



By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The woman who left the body of a stillborn infant in a trash bin in May had kept the body in her car for a month, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed Tuesday by the Chambersburg Police Department.

Autumn N. Flythe, 21, of 144 Hamilton Road, Chambersburg, was charged with concealing the death of an infant.

She was arraigned before District Justice Gary L. Carter and was released on $20,000 bond. Her preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 24 at 10 a.m.

The body of the infant girl was discovered on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 10, in a trash bin behind the Keystone Car Wash, 744 S. Main St., by two youths working there, according to police. The body had been wrapped in plastic and towels and placed inside a backpack, the affidavit said.

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An autopsy was performed the next day at Chambersburg Hospital.

"Information received from the autopsy and subsequent testing, although somewhat inconclusive due to the amount of decomposition, supports that the infant was stillborn and not born alive," Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said in a June 9 press release.

The affidavit said Flythe was interviewed by police May 13, three days after the body was discovered. The document alleged that Flythe admitted to being the mother and that "the baby was born unexpectedly" about a month earlier.

"Flythe stated the child was stillborn and she panicked. She placed the body in a backpack and kept it in her car until placing it in the trash can," according to the affidavit.

Although Conner had identified Flythe as the mother more than two months ago, police had not filed any criminal charges against her until Tuesday.

Concealing the death of a child is a first-degree misdemeanor. Conviction on the charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, according to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.

The charge of concealing the death of a child makes no distinction as to whether the child was born alive or stillborn, according to the crimes code.

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