By Courtney Gousman
Wildwood, MO (KSDK) - The mother accused of leaving her baby in an Ellisville yard was charged Tuesday and expected to turn herself into police Wednesday morning.
The mother's name is Kaitlin Norton and Tuesday afternoon, the 19-year-old was charged with child abandonment and endangering the welfare of a child, both felonies.
On February 16th, a woman found Norton's newborn son wrapped in a bloody beach towel. The child was rushed to the hospital.
Police say Norton was staying at a home in Ellisville when she gave birth, but Norton's official address is listed in Wildwood where neighbors say the teen lives with her mother. Neighbors there were shocked to hear the news and didn't realize Norton was even pregnant.
Norton's attorney, Andrew Leonard, says the teen couldn't deal with her situation, even up to the moment she delivered her baby, alone in a basement laundry room.
"Kaitlin concealed her pregnancy initially because of a combination of a naïve understanding of her body, a boyfriend who was away at college, and insecurity over the relationships in her life," said Leonard.
He says the teen now understands she had other options, and is sorry she didn't ask for help.
When Norton turns herself in Wednesday, she will be held on $40,000 bond.
Norton's baby boy is now in state custody.
Leonard released the following statement to NewsChannel 5:
"Kaitlin Norton is a 19 year old girl who made an incomprehensible mistake. By way of explanation, not excuse, I can relate the following. Kaitlin concealed her pregnancy initially because of a combination of a naïve understanding of her body, a boyfriend who was away at college, and insecurity over the relationships in her life. She couldn't face the problem up through the moment that she delivered the child, alone, in a basement laundry room.
"Kaitlin wants to make it clear that she acted alone and has asked her family and everyone involved for forgiveness. She also wants everyone to know that she is thankful that the baby was found quickly and is doing well. She understands now that she had other options and hopes that other girls will know about the options. She is particularly sorry that she didn't ask for help from the families involved. She is now in counseling at her church and with the court doctors and will keep cooperating with the juvenile authorities who are acting in the best interest of the child.
"Again, she is sorry for making such a bad decision and thankful to the Ellisville Police Officers, her family, and everyone who has helped in this hard to understand situation."