Woman Jailed After She Gave Birth at Work, Left Baby Submerged in Toilet

July 9, 2019 Updated: July 9, 2019

A Pennsylvania woman who gave birth to a baby boy while at work in Warwick and left him partially submerged in a toilet has been sentenced to up to 23 months in prison, prosecutors said.

Reading-based Emmanuella Osei, 24, reportedly left her son partially submerged in a toilet bowl after giving birth at a group home in Warwick Township where she was working as a care assistant, on Jan. 14.

The woman pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment of the welfare of children—a second-degree felony—in March, reported Fox 32.

Osei arrived in Reading from Ghana while still pregnant, according to a Penn Live report.

She was sentenced to 9 to 23 months by Lancaster County judge Margaret Miller on July 8, as well as five years of probation, according to the Lancaster County district attorney’s office.

Just before she gave birth, Osei allegedly told a supervisor to contact emergency services as she felt unwell. Authorities discovered blood and the newborn, who had been in the toilet for about 10 to 15 minutes when they arrived.

The baby was in critical condition when he was found by Northern Lancaster County police Cpl. Curtis Ochs. Osei was also in the restroom when they arrived, reported ABC 27.

Paramedics worked to save the child’s life, and his survival was dubbed a “miracle” by Miller, reported Penn Live.

“But it is a miracle in which Ms. Osei took no part,” Miller said in court.

Osei reportedly made no effort to assist her son or remove him from the toilet bowl, according to the district attorney’s office.

Judge Miller said a lengthier prison sentence would be “fruitless,” adding that she considered Osei’s mental state, as she might not have been in the right state of mind, according to a press release.

“But I must be mindful of the seriousness of this offense—although perhaps depressed, confused, and lost, she made certain decisions,” Miller said.

Osei’s decision not to speak during the hearing meant the judge was not able to fully see the full context of her remorse, the district attorney’s office said.

The boy was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition, but has now recovered. Lancaster County’s Children & Youth Agency originally took him into custody, and he has now been placed with Osei’s family members in Berks County.

Osei first came to the United States in May 2018, after learning she was pregnant that spring, reported Lancaster Online. She visited Reading Hospital on Jan. 4, but ignored medical advice from staff to remain in the facility.

When questioned by relatives, colleagues, and friends, Osei denied she was pregnant.

A letter from Osei’s uncle filed in court as part of the case states that the family is on a “path of foregiveness [sic]” and will support the boy, reported Penn Live.

Osei’s uncle added he believed the woman was just afraid and naive and didn’t intend to harm the newborn, according to the district attorney’s office.

“The baby will be loved, cherished, and cared for,” the letter read.

Since Osei has been in prison since Jan. 16, the district attorney’s office said she has served six months of her prison sentence.