• Mom charged with murder after newborn baby found in trash bag in closet

    By: Glenn Counts


    INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - A Union County woman has been charged in connection with her newborn son's death after deputies said she wrapped the baby in a blanket and put him in a trash bag early Sunday morning.

    Khrystina Rice, 27, is charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse.

    "The child would have been perfectly healthy and was alive when he was born," said Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

    Khrystina Marie Rice
    Khrystina Marie Rice

    (Khrystina Marie Rice)

    According to deputies, paramedics responded just before 7 a.m. to a home on Carolina Manor Court in Indian Trail after receiving a call from Rice's husband saying his wife was bleeding.

    [ALSO READ: Foster mother charged days after 12-month-old boy dies in hot car]

    Deputies said when paramedics found Rice on the master bathroom floor, she wouldn't explain why she was bleeding.

    "But, in part of that process, (paramedics) were obviously trying to determine the source of the blood,” Underwood said. “Were there cuts, injuries to her body? They didn't see anything."

    They then discovered a newborn baby wrapped tightly in a blanket inside a trash bag in the closet.

    "Wrapped tightly in a blanket from head to toe, and the blanket was inside of a trash bag and sort of singed tight," Underwood said.

    Deputies said paramedics were able to get a faint pulse after performing CPR on the 7-pound baby boy. He was rushed to Novant Matthews, where he later died.

    "There were a lot of vehicles out here Sunday morning, and it was just really overwhelming,” neighbor Dawn Hannibal said. “I knew something bad had happened. I didn't know what."

    According to the medical examiner, the baby died of suffocation but also had fractured bones in his skull and ribs.

    [ALSO READ: Father charged with killing baby boy in Burke County]

    Deputies said Rice's husband told them he didn't know his wife was pregnant, and he was asleep downstairs before waking up to what he said sounded like someone falling upstairs.

    The couple has a 4-year-old son together, and Rice has an 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

    Rice is being held without bail.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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