A North Carolina mother who dumped her newborn baby into a trash can has won a chance to regain custody of her children after a judge ruled her case should be reconsidered.
Maryuri Estefany Calix-Macedo, 23, is currently in the New Hanover County Prison facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of felony intentional child abuse causing serious bodily harm.
She allegedly wrapped her hours-old son in a bag in July 2020 and left the newborn in the garbage bin of a church — where he was found by neighbors who heard his cries.
An appeals court unanimously ruled last month that the mother will get an opportunity to be the legal guardian of the baby and his older sister after three judges on the appeals panel unanimously agreed to overturn the case.
The ruling vacates a previous decision in December 2020, that ruled that the children were “dependents” of the state since their parents were either unfit or unqualified to be parents.
According to the Sept. 21 ruling, Calix-Macedo gave birth to a son, Alexander, in her home bathroom on July 16, 2020. She left the newborn in the toilet for several hours while attending to her 1-year-old daughter, Elenore.
When the father, her boyfriend at the time, returned home from work around 4 p.m., she put the crying baby in a plastic trash bag and placed him in the trunk before driving to the local Walmart where she went grocery shopping.
She then drove to a nearby church and placed the bag with the baby inside of a trash bin, where he was later found still crying by a neighbor and taken to the hospital, according to the ruling.
She was identified by surveillance footage from the church and was subsequently interviewed by police the next day.
After initially denying that the baby was hers, she confessed to police that she was in fact the baby’s mother and that she knew he was still alive when she put him inside of the garbage bin.
She told police the father, whom she identified, had not known that she was pregnant. The father later confirmed to authorities he had not known.
She was placed under arrest in July 2020 and the social services took custody of Elenore.
The child’s father was not identified as he has not been charged.
The three appeal judges cited errors by New Hanover County District Court Judge J.H. Corpening II in his 2020 ruling, saying he failed to consider the family’s circumstances, including that the children’s father may be willing to take custody and that the baby had no identifiable parents when that state took custody.
She is next expected to appear in court on Monday morning, according to StarNews Online.
The appeals decision does not guarantee that Calix-Macedo will regain custody.
She remains in the New Hanover County Jail in lieu of $800,000 bail.