A 23-year-old mom is in custody after an infant was found dead in the backyard of a Highlands Ranch home on Tuesday evening.
The infant, who still had his or her umbilical cord attached, was found in the yard of a home on the 500 block of Longfellow Lane just before 10 p.m. Camille Wasinger-Konrad, 23, is currently being held at the Douglas County Detention Center with no bond and could face a charge of first-degree murder.
A neighbor tells 9NEWS the newborn was found at the home of a drug addiction counselor. It is unclear if the counselor and the suspect know each other directly.
Linda Prudhomme is the executive director of Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns, an organization dedicated to stopping infant abandonment,
"It is heartbreaking to learn of a dead baby," Prudhomme said. "This is exactly the situation that the safe haven law was enacted to prevent."
Although the baby's age has not been released, DCSO reminded people of the Colorado Safe Haven law, which passed in 2000. That law allows a parent to hand over an infant, up to 72 hours old, to an employee at any fire station or hospital with no questions asked, as long as the baby is unharmed, the parent will not be prosecuted for abandonment.
"It's hard to imagine that a mother would throw a baby away, but it happens," Prudhomme said. "These women isolate themselves. They hide their pregnancy. Then, they have this baby and it's just a crisis."
Wasinger-Konrad used to live in Highlands Ranch with her grandparents. Her grandfather told 9NEWS that his granddaughter looked pregnant. She had gained weight quickly. But, her grandfather says when they asked her about it, Wasinger-Konrad denied being pregnant.
"We don't know the circumstances of this mother and the baby, but we do know other newborns have been saved by this law," Prudhomme said. "It didn't have to happen."
She says since 2000, 56 babies' lives have been saved. Across the country, Prudhomme says that number is closer to 3,400.
It's unclear how the baby died; a cause and manner of death will be determined by the Douglas County Coroner's Office.
Wasinger-Konrad has a previous criminal record that includes misdemeanor theft in 2013 and more recently, felony burglary in 2016.