Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teen Demanding Visitation Rights for Newborn Thrown in Dumpster: 'If the Baby Is OK, I Want It'


The shocking story of a New Mexico teen who allegedly left her baby in a dumpster in January broke hearts everywhere. Now, the mother is asking to be allowed to see the child.

Footage of someone dropping a bag into the dumpster and of good Samaritans finding the newborn baby boy circulated online, and eventually the mother, 18-year-old Alexis Avila, was identified.

During an interview with police, the teen claimed she hadn’t known she was pregnant and was terrified of her mother finding out.

“I went to the restroom and it came out,” she told police, according to KFOX-TV. “I was in a panic and didn’t know what to do. I was scared. I was so scared my mom was going to hate me.”

She said she wrapped the baby in a towel before getting into her car. She said she then put the baby in a trash bag she had in the car and drove around.

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“I threw it in the trash,” she said. “I tossed it in there.”

Oscar Astorga, 50, said his 16-year-old son Stephen is the father and had no idea his ex-girlfriend Avila was pregnant, believing her to have had a miscarriage.

Astorga told the Daily Mail in January that he was fighting to get custody of the baby.

“Of course we’re trying to get custody,” he said. “Of course. He is my grandson. … We’re trying to get my grandson.”

According to KRQE-TV, the baby has been living with Stephen and his family. But now Avila is making an effort to be in her son’s life despite the serious charges against her.

During a preliminary hearing in February, a judge said the evidence was sufficient to pursue a child abuse trial.

Prosecutors argued that Avila was intentional in her actions.

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“This wasn’t someone driving to the hospital, driving to a clinic, driving to a friend’s, driving to someone to seek help,” a prosecutor said. “She knew what she was doing at the time.”

Another prosecutor said, “In my 27 years of doing this, I have never seen anyone, child or adult, have a temperature that was not read with a digital thermometer,” referring to the fact that when found, the infant was so hypothermic his temperature didn’t register.

The angle Avila’s defense attorneys are taking is that since the baby did not die, the teen should not face charges of felony child abuse with great bodily harm.

Not only that, but they’re now asking that she be granted supervised visits with the baby. According to KRQE, Avila began requesting her son be returned to her as soon as she was arrested, saying, “If the baby is OK, I want it.”

The defense also said Avila is attending counseling and parenting classes and plans to go to college to study psychology.

On April 25, Judge William Shoobridge denied the request for supervised visits with the child, according to a follow-up report by KRQE. “It was only four months ago. You placed your son in a trash bag on a frigid day and by your own admission and video evidence, threw him into a dumpster,” Shoobridge told her.

The only change the judge agreed to was to let Avila go into the backyard of her home, where she is currently under house arrest.

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