A Long Island woman has been charged with manslaughter after her daughter was born prematurely in a Long Island City hotel room last summer, prosecutors announced Monday.
Lauren Becker, 36, was brought before the Queens Criminal Court on charges of second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. Becker, who is currently hospitalized, was arraigned via video conference on March 22.
Becker, who is due to return to court on April 5, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
“The victim in this case was a defenseless baby, just hours old. Her young life was cut short because the newborn’s mother allegedly refused to seek the medical care the baby needed after being born six to eight weeks early with drugs in her blood.” said Chief Assistant District Attorney John Ryan.
According to the charges, at 7:30 p.m. on July 18, 2018, police responded to a 911 call at the Days Inn Hotel, located at 31-32 Queens Blvd., shortly after being contacted by of Becker’s relatives. The relative told police that Becker had texted that she had delivered her baby in the toilet of the hotel room.
Despite the relative’s directions to bring the baby to the hospital, law enforcement sources said, Becker allegedly refused to do so.
A brief search led 108th Precinct officers to Becker’s room on the sixth floor, where they allegedly found Becker holding her infant daughter — whose body was lifeless, blue and wrapped in a towel on top of a bed.
EMS responded to the scene and transported both the baby and Becker to Elmhurst Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead. An autopsy found that the infant had been born six to eight weeks early, and was alive at the time of her birth.
The medical examiner determined that the cause of the baby’s death was complications of prematurity due to failure to seek medical evaluation and treatment.
Prosecutors said the autopsy also found that the baby had liquid in her stomach — consistent with Becker’s claims that she tried to breast feed the baby — and a toxicology report showed that the infant had both cocaine and Xanax in her system. The drugs, however, were not lethal levels that would have killed the baby, according to charges.
Becker was arrested on March 20 and is currently hospitalized.