Inmate Gives Birth Surreptitiously in Texas Jail; Baby Dies

January 23, 2018 Updated: January 23, 2018

An inmate in a Texas jail concealed her labor pains and gave birth to a baby in jail. The baby didn’t survive.

Sheriff Adam King of Cleburne called what happened “maybe the most horrible thing I’ve heard in my life.”

Katlyn Noel Smith was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 18, on an outstanding warrant, but didn’t let police know how far along she was in her pregnancy.

She concealed her labor pains in the holding tank she was sharing with several other inmates, until the baby began to crown early Monday morning, King told the Star-Telegram.

“Only at that point did she start banging on the door to get a deputy’s attention. All the other inmates in the lockup with her have been interviewed,” King said. “None of them knew the extent of what was going on. We think she hid it because she is a hardcore drug addict.”

King said when officers booked Smith into jail, they found what they suspect is heroin.

Tests confirmed that Smith had methamphetamines and opiates in her system.

“It’s just absolutely horrible. There’s some things that you just don’t even want to talk about or repeat, and this is so horrible that you don’t want to say it out loud,” King told the Cleburne Times-Review.

King said medical tests after the baby’s death indicated Smith was about seven months pregnant. If taken to a hospital, the baby could have survived.

The district attorney may file additional charges against Smith in relation to what happened.

King said counseling will be provided to Smith as well as the inmates who were in the cell with her.



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