A Berks County woman is charged after giving birth to an infant who police found unresponsive and partially submerged in a toilet at a Warwick Township assisted-living facility restroom.
Northern Lancaster County Regional police charged 23-year-old Emmanuella Osei with felony endangering the welfare of a child regarding the Monday night incident at the group home on Parkside Lane.
The charge, filed by Detective Theresa Stauffer and approved by First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen, is a second-degree felony because of the victim’s age.
Police arrested Osei early Wednesday afternoon at a health facility where she had been since giving birth. District Judge Edward Tobin arraigned Osei and remanded her to Lancaster County Prison without bail.
The infant boy is at a hospital, on a ventilator, in stable but critical condition. The extent of his injuries is still being assessed.
Northern Lancaster County Regional police Cpl. Curtis Ochs and medics performed CPR on the infant in what were likely life-saving efforts.
Osei made no attempts to assist or provide aid to the child. She did not touch the child, instead leaving him in the toilet where he was found partially submerged in water.
Additionally, Osei did not ask first responders how the child was doing or request to see him.
The child was believed to have been in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Osei came from Ghana to live with her uncle in Reading in May 2018. Although she denied being pregnant when asked by friends, co-workers and her uncle, Osei was aware she was pregnant, police learned later. She was informed by medical professionals in Ghana (when she was about one-month pregnant) and as recently as Jan. 4, when she was seen at a facility in Berks County. She went against advice there that she be admitted.
Also, Osei has a second child - a 2-year-old daughter living in Ghana.
The investigation is ongoing.
“We still have a lot to investigate. This case is far from over,” District Attorney Craig Stedman said. “We will follow the facts and the law and, if warranted, file additional charges at the appropriate time.”
The following is a narrative of what happened Monday night:
Osei worked as a care assistant at the group home on Parkside Lane and was working in that capacity Monday night.
She called her supervisor multiple times asking for relief because she felt ill. She asked for someone to relieve her because she could not leave the patients alone.
Osei eventually called her supervisor, from a toilet, and asked that the supervisor call 9-1-1, which the supervisor did. Osei never mentioned being pregnant then or at any other time to her supervisor.
Police responded and found Osei in the bathroom with the door partially open. Corporal Ochs went into the bathroom, saw a large amount of blood and what appeared to be an umbilical cord. He pulled Osei from the toilet and rendered aid to the infant.
The infant was cold to the touch, blue, unresponsive and not breathing, first responders reported. The child started breathing after Cpl. Ochs performed CPR.
“The quick thinking and actions of Corporal Ochs almost certainly saved this child’s life,” District Attorney Stedman said. “This is a reminder of how much our men and women in uniform do for us.”
Osei and the newborn were transported to a hospital.
Police interviewed Osei’s uncle and learned that he had questioned her about being pregnant, but she repeatedly denied it.
In an interview with police, Osei admitted to going to an emergency room in Reading on Jan. 4.
She also told police she did not touch the child or attempt to remove him from the water on Monday night.
Osei is presumed innocent.
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