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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:29 AM

No charges after fetus found in woman's freezer

PUNTA GORDA - After a six-month investigation, police and prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed in the case of a stillborn fetus, with traces of cocaine in its blood, that authorities found in a freezer at the mother’s home.

Police announced the investigation’s conclusion Thursday, after prosecutors reviewed the case law and the autopsy findings. The 20th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office says it is unclear who put the stillborn fetus in the freezer and no charges can be filed against an expectant mother for passing cocaine to an unborn child.

The investigation started on Jan. 29, when Punta Gorda Police responded to a medical call in the 300 block of Boca Grande Boulevard about 8:30 p.m.

Jessica Smallwood, 27, was transported to Peace River Medical Center with heavy bleeding and hospital staff determined that Smallwood had delivered a full-term baby, which was unaccounted for.

Smallwood denied delivering a child, initially explaining to a nurse that she thought she had passed a blood clot and flushed the toilet, police reports say. She told the nurse she thought it was a miscarriage, but had not known she was pregnant. Her fiance, Kevin Garcia, who lives with her and their three children, arrived home and helped her into bed, cleaning up the blood and mess in the house, reports show.


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