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Mother charged in 2017 case of baby found dead in Calgary dumpster on Christmas Eve

Click to play video: 'Mother charged in 2017 death of baby found in Calgary dumpster'
Mother charged in 2017 death of baby found in Calgary dumpster
More than two years after a newborn baby was found dead in a dumpster on Christmas Eve, Calgary police have charged the now-21-year-old mother. Michael King reports – Jan 24, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said the accused remains in custody, based on information provided by police. Police issued a correction and said the accused has been released from custody but that her release is subject to conditions. This story has been updated to reflect the new information. 

More than two years after a newborn baby was found dead in a dumpster on a cold Christmas Eve, Calgary police have charged the now-21-year-old mother.

The infant’s body was found by a security guard in a garbage bin in the northwest community of Bowness at about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 24, 2017

Police said the baby girl was likely alive and breathing on her own when she was left in the dumpster, and that she was born earlier that day.

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Investigators were relentless in their efforts to solve the case, even using DNA phenotyping to try to determine what the mother looked like.

The photo that came of that phenotyping was shared widely by police, which elicited some of the more than 70 tips investigators received over the course of their search, however, the tips weren’t what led police to the mother.

“To be honest, it was old fashioned policing,” Staff. Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said on Thursday.

“After we exhausted all the tips that we prioritized, we went back and reviewed hundreds of hours of CCTV and we were able to eventually find a female that appeared to be in medical distress and also purchasing items — which I can’t get into — which would be consistent after childbirth.

“In this case, the genetic phenotype was consistent with the physical characteristics of our accused.”

A newborn was found dead in a garbage bin behind a grocery store in the community of Bowness on Christmas Eve. Global News

Schiavetta said the surveillance video also showed the young woman, 19 at the time, was with a man at the time the baby was left. Investigators believe that man was her boyfriend at the time, but don’t think he is the father.

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“We’re actually still trying to identify the father of the infant and we’re currently working through a DNA elimination process,” Schiavetta said.

Click to play video: 'Woman wasn’t alone when she left baby in a Calgary dumpster to die'
Woman wasn’t alone when she left baby in a Calgary dumpster to die

When asked whether others could be charged in the case, Schiavetta said police are working with the Crown prosecutor’s office.

A teddy bear is placed in memory of a newborn infant who was found dead on Christmas Eve. Global News

Nina Albright, 21, faces charges of committing an indignity to a dead body and failing to provide the necessaries of life. She’s scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 21.

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Schiavetta said the evidence investigators have supports the two charges, but police are in constant consultation with the Crown prosecutor’s office to determine if they could be upgraded to homicide charges.

Click to play video: 'Calgary police say charges could be upgraded against mother who left baby in dumpster'
Calgary police say charges could be upgraded against mother who left baby in dumpster

Schiavetta said Albright has been released from custody but that her release was conditional on her abiding by certain conditions. He added that officers were concerned for her wellbeing, as they were from the start of the case.

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“Any accused person, we are worried about their wellbeing,” he said.

“Certainly going back to 2017, we were and still are concerned about the welfare of the mother. And I think that brings us to a really good point that if anyone is in this situation, to see appropriate resources and seek medical attention.”

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Schiavetta said the case “weighed heavily on the minds and hearts of not only investigators, but the larger community.”

“While particulars surrounding motive and intent will unfold as part of the court process, we hope this provides some level of closure for all involved.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary police use DNA technology to try and track down mother of baby found dead on Christmas Eve'
Calgary police use DNA technology to try and track down mother of baby found dead on Christmas Eve

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