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Woman enters no contest plea in death of newborn

By Susan Bryant


Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced June 14 a no contest plea in a 2017 North Whitehall Township homicide case.

Ashley Caraballo, 32, pleaded no contest to charges of murder of the third-degree, a felony of the first degree; concealing the death of a child, a misdemeanor of the first degree; and abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor of the second degree.

According to Martin, on Oct. 20, 2017, Caraballo was taken to an area hospital with heavy vaginal bleeding that required surgery.

During the course of the surgery, a doctor determined Caraballo had recently given birth, and the damage was consistent with a baby being “ripped out” when the cervix was not fully dilated.

Caraballo denied she had been pregnant or had recently given birth.

An investigation by Pennsylvania State Police found a deceased male baby in a Mauser Street home where Caraballo and her family were living.

The infant’s body was found wrapped in a sheet inside a backpack.

The backpack was discovered in a five-gallon paint can located in a storage area in the basement of the residence.

The plea agreement takes into consideration several medical experts have conflicting opinions about whether the baby was born alive or not.

The plea took place before Judge Robert L. Steinberg.

The agreement calls for a cap on the possible sentence of 6 to 12 years.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 11.