CLEVELAND (WJW) — A 16-year-old mother appeared in court Tuesday to face charges in connection with the death of her newborn twins.
The teen is now charged in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court with involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, endangering children and tampering with evidence.
The girl appeared in court with attorneys on Tuesday and denied the charges.
Her attorneys sought to have her returned to her mother’s custody, but prosecutors objected, court records show. The girl will remain in the juvenile detention center.
A judge ordered the girl to undergo a mental health evaluation at the center, records show. Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services is also expected to do an investigation and home evaluation.
The case is due back before a judge on June 8.
Cleveland police told the FOX 8 I-Team the bodies of the infants were found around 7:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, inside a trash can along Ludlow Road.
The infant victims are twins and appeared to be born early at about 30 weeks gestation. The investigation is ongoing.
The babies were born a few days before their bodies were discovered. Police said the girl’s mother did not know her daughter was pregnant.
The mother of teen girl would not talk to us as she left the court on Tuesday morning.
The girl faces seven total felony counts: Two counts each of involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse and endangering children; and one count of tampering with evidence. Authorities allege the offenses happened between Thursday, May 18, and Saturday, May 20, court records show.
Court documents show the girl initially faced a murder charge. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley reviewed the case and determined that a charge of involuntary manslaughter would be more appropriate than murder.