A young woman is in police custody in connection with the discovery of a male fetus at the solid waste disposal site in Vieux Fort earlier this month, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspect is from Laborie, the community where the garbage was believed to have been collected from.
According to sources, charges are likely to be laid against the suspect soon.
The fetus, estimated to be six months old and weighed about three pounds, was discovered by a sanitation worker around 8 .m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.
One of the sources, who knows of the suspect, told St. Lucia News Online that it is hoped that postpartum depression won’t be used as a reason to let her off the hook.
“Postpartum depression occurs weeks after birth, not during birth. This young lady is vibrant and does not act sad or [show] any symptoms. I have seen her … and [she] appears in a good state of mind,” the source said.
“I’m sorry to say but she should be named and shamed as she took an innocent life. This is murder.”
The source fears that the incident will be swept under the rug “giving this lady the opportunity to do this vicious crime again”.
In an earlier report, Faith St. Catherine, a counsellor with the Saint Lucia Crisis Centre, cautioned the public against rushing to judgement regarding the dumping of the fetus, saying the individual responsible may be suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis.
“I wish not to ask people not to judge because we don’t know the circumstances surrounding this,” St. Catherine told DBS. “There is something called postpartum depression and … it goes further [to] postpartum psychosis. What happens is that during pregnancy hormonal changes create problems.”
According to Wikipedia, postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth, which can affect both sexes. Symptoms may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns.
Postpartum psychosis, a more severe form of postpartum mood disorder, occurs in about 1 to 2 per 1,000 women following childbirth. Postpartum psychosis is one of the leading causes of the murder of children less than one year of age, which occurs in about 8 per 100,000 births in the United States.
St. Catherine said the individual who dumped the fetus may not have been mentally sound.
“I would like to believe that if a person does that it’s because they are not in their right frame of mind meaning, that we don’t know the person’s circumstances. We don’t know what trauma they were suffering [from] before. We don’t know what problems they are facing. But trauma pushes people over the edge,” she said.
Female Rights Activist Catherine Sealys had also commented on the incident.
“The system has always failed young mothers. Young mothers are under a lot of pressure from economic, from mental peer pressure, from a number of situations. And we continue to wish that the social services, especially the ministry of social justice and agencies of that nature would come together and prepare policies to better support,” Sealys told DBS.