A pregnant 14-year-old Florida girl delivered a baby boy in her parents’ bathroom and then strangling the infant to death, hiding his body in a box, law enforcement officials said Friday.
Cassidy Goodson, of Lakeland, Fla. has been charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse in connection with the death of her newborn son.
Investigators are deciding whether to charge her as an adult, The Ledger.com reported.
“Her son was still connected to her by the umbilical cord when she choked him to death," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Friday. "I just can't get over that."
Goodson gave birth to the 9.5 pound, 20.4-inch baby on Sept. 19 and used scissors to help “pry the baby out,” investigators said.
She stuffed a towel in her own mouth and turned on the faucet so her parents wouldn’t hear any noise, the teen told investigators.
After delivering the baby in the toilet, she felt for his pulse and determined he was alive. Then she strangled him, squeezing his neck for “about a minute” until he wasn’t breathing, Judd said.
Goodson then showered with the dead infant and placed his body in a box which she buried in dirty laundry in her room, Judd said.
Her mother, Teresa Goodson, noticed a foul odor in her room three days later and found the baby’s remains. The mother called her sisters, who in turn called 911, authorities said.
A freshman in high school, Goodson is 5 foot 3 and weighs about 100 pounds, police said. She hid her pregnancy by wearing baggy clothes.
Though other people had become suspicious that the teen was pregnant over the summer, her mother was “in complete denial,” Judd said.
Goodson at first told investigators that she had suffered a miscarriage, but an autopsy revealed the baby was full term and had died of asphyxia from strangulation.
Detectives were working to determine the father’s identity, Judd said.
"Everybody's a loser here, but this 14-year-old child murdered her infant baby, which was successfully delivered at home," Judd said.
Investigators said the teen showed little emotion during questioning, but when asked why she did it, she responded that she didn’t want to change the relationship with her family, Tampa Bay Online reported.
It was unclear if Goodson had obtained a lawyer or how she intends to plead.