Cops: Central Islip woman faces murder charges in newborn's death
A housekeeper who gave birth in her employer's West Islip home Sunday was charged with murder Thursday after throwing away her newborn girl, who was found with head injuries, Suffolk police said.
Santos Elena Ruiz Solano, 26, gave birth to a "fully-developed" baby just before 3 a.m. at the Shoal Drive house where she lived five days a week as an elderly couple's housekeeper, said homicide Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick.
The girl died minutes later, he said: "The baby suffered skull fractures." Police and the medical examiner's office are investigating the baby's injuries and the cause of death.
But Ruiz Solano's husband and her employers had no idea she was pregnant until post-birth bleeding sent her to the hospital, Fitzpatrick said.
She had been on the job for three weeks, returning home to Central Islip on her days off, he said.
"She kept her pregnancy from her husband," Fitzpatrick said, describing her as "petite."
"How she went about concealing that from her husband, I don't know," he said.
After the birth, Ruiz Solano put the baby in a plastic trash bag in her room, he said. She called her husband, telling him to come because she felt sick, the lieutenant said.
"She leaves with her husband," Fitzpatrick said, " and she says 'Make sure you take the garbage out,' " referring to the trash in her room.
He took the plastic bag to the car, then went to the nearby Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, he said. Before going in, he said, they dumped the bag with the baby in a trash can outside.
Even going in, her husband had no inkling of what happened, but hospital workers suspected Ruiz Solana had given birth, police said.
"She denies that," Fitzpatrick said, "but ultimately tells them 'Yes, I did give birth.' "
Authorities found the baby in the trash can, he said.
Ruiz Solano, of 375 Clift St., is to be arraigned Friday on a second-degree murder charge at First District Court in Central Islip. She has two other children in Honduras, Fitzpatrick said.
Ruiz Solano appeared "calm" after surrendering to police Thursday, and her husband has been cooperating with detectives, Fitzpatrick said.
Her employers, who live in a large home in a gated community, could not be reached. But in Central Islip, those who knew the couple struggled to comprehend the tragedy.
"She never said she was pregnant," said school bus driver Yesenia Torres of Central Islip, who was visiting her sister, a neighbor of the couple.
Instead, Ruiz Solano wore big sweaters and coats to cover her belly, denying her pregnancy when asked, Torres said.
Ruiz Solano had arrived from Honduras nine months ago to join her husband in the basement apartment of the house, Torres said. She added that since the arrest, she had seen Ruiz Solano's husband crying.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the hospital. It was Southside Hospital.