Investigators in the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda (RPFAB) are hoping that the mother of a six-month-old foetus that was discovered at Crawl Bay, Wednesday, will come forward voluntarily to speak to authorities.
Yesterday, Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Inspector Frankie Thomas told OBSERVER media that they are “following certain leads”.
However, he said that at this time, the priority for the police is to locate the mother who is responsible.
“We would love to have her to assist in our investigations and to offer her the necessary help and assistance that she may require at this time,” the inspector said.
Once in custody, the plan is to have the woman give “better information” about what happened and why the foetus was discarded.
The results of a Coroner’s Inquest or an autopsy could determine whether the foetus was alive at the time of birth, but further information could help the police confirm whether the birth was induced or occurred prematurely.
Inspector Thomas, who described the situation as “very sad and shocking”, said this was not the first time that the police have had to deal with a case of a discarded foetus.
“We have dealt with similar cases in the past; this is nothing new to us, unfortunate as it may be,” he said.
According to the laws of Antigua & Barbuda, it is a crime to dispose of a foetus and according to the inspector, it is an offence for which one can be charged for Concealment of Birth as well as other charges associated with that type of offence.
Under the Offences Against the Person Act of 1873 (cap 58, part IX, sections 53-54), abortion is considered an offence in all cases.