WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A mother who dumped her newborn’s body into the ocean off the Florida coast five years ago pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Arya Singh, 30, also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse during a Palm Beach County court hearing. She had been facing a second-degree murder charge, which carried a potential life sentence.
The infant girl, whose body was found floating off Palm Beach County on June 1, 2018, by an off-duty firefighter, was dubbed “Baby June.”
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office launched a massive search for the mother. Detectives checked more than 600 mothers who had given birth in nearby hospitals, but all still had their babies.
The case went cold until last year when detectives ran the baby's DNA through a genetic database that turned up a relative of the father. The father told detectives he had not known about the child until a month or two after she was born. He said Singh told him she'd given birth to his child, but had taken care of it.
A test of Singh's DNA proved the child was hers. She told detectives she did not know she was pregnant until giving birth in a hotel bathroom. She said she placed the dead child's body in the water a day after giving birth but that she didn't know if the baby was alive when it was born.
An autopsy showed that the baby died of asphyxiation before being placed in the water.