A teenage girl was found to have a dead fetus in her shopping bag when she was stopped by a security guard Thursday at the Herald Square Victoria's Secret, police said.
Police were called to the store at 34th Street and Sixth Avenue about 1 p.m. and questioned the 17-year-old girl, who initially was thought to be shoplifting with her friend, the NYPD said.
A medical examiner's representative arrived soon after to try to determine what happened to the fetus.
"We don't know yet if the baby was born dead or died later," a police spokesman said.
One teenager was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center for observation while her 17-year-old friend was taken to the Midtown South Precinct for questioning. Police are trying to determine if one girl gave birth in the store.
No arrests or charges were made by Thursday evening. The two teens were not identified by officials.
The store remained open while police conducted their investigation, much to the shock of shoppers.
Anna Mastropitro, 52, a tourist from Toronto, said she couldn't believe the teens would do something like this in a public place.
"It's shocking. A baby? It's unacceptable," she said.
Esther Gross, 44, of the Upper West Side, said she knew there was a body in the store when she saw a medical examiner's vehicle outside Victoria's Secret while standing across the street. As a day care worker and mother of an 18-year-old, she said it hurt to hear about a teen with a dead fetus.
"There's hospitals, there's churches," she said. "We live in a country with so many benefits."