By Abe Lubetkin
Wauwatosa, WI (WISN/CNN) - A Shorewood teen accused of giving birth in her bathtub then burying her baby in the backyard will not face criminal charges.
A judge has thrown out the case, calling it more sad than criminal.
The question for children's court Judge Karen Christenson was whether a Shorewood girl who gave birth, then buried the fetus in her backyard last fall had committed a crime.
The 16-year-old Shorewood High School student was about six months pregnant, but had not told anyone, not even her mother, when she gave birth in her bathtub while home alone last August.
Even the fetus' 18-year-old father, who was called to testify, said he did not know his ex-girlfriend was pregnant until the investigation began.
Police got involved one month later, after the girl's mother discovered the fetus wrapped in four bags and buried in the backyard.
The girl, who's now 17 and did not testify, told police the baby was stillborn. But the prosecution argued she concealed the body so that no one would ever know if the baby was born dead or alive.
The defense countered that there was no proof the baby was ever alive, nor that the girl was trying to hide a live birth.
"The fact is not all tragedies are crimes. And I think the justice system worked appropriately in this case," said Gilbert Urfer, the girl's attorney.
Ultimately the judge determined that while there was no question the girl concealed the body, the girl's intent was likely to keep anyone from knowing she was ever pregnant, not to cover up a live birth.
"I just am not satisfied that there is proof here that her attempt in concealing the corpse was to prevent a determination of whether the baby was born dead or alive. There isn't even any definitive testimony about whether in fact it was born dead or alive," said Judge Christenson.