Samoan mother accused of leaving baby down Sydney drain has 'boy, 5, living in New Zealand'

By Candace Sutton

The woman's baby was found at the bottom of a drain in Sydney. The boy had been down there for six days
The woman's baby was found at the bottom of a drain in Sydney. The boy had been down there for six days

She is the woman accused of dumping her day-old baby down a drain and leaving him to die.

But the 30-year-old is also a loving auntie who adores children and appears entirely devoted to her family in Australia and Samoa.

One of her social media accounts - filled with pictures of babies and young relatives - suggests that she became increasingly clucky as her pregnancy progressed.

It is a stark contrast with the savage act with which she is charged, the attempted murder of her baby boy, who miraculously survived five days in a concrete stormwater drain off a Sydney motorway.

And the woman, the daughter of a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, appears to have another son - a five-year-old who lives in New Zealand.

Postings on social media in the days after she dumped her son, but before the baby was found and alleged crime was detected, show her posing and looking pretty in a dress but also experiencing post-natal tiredness.

A family friend has told Daily Mail Australia that the young woman - who goes by an anglicised nickname and works in western Sydney - "loves children and is very good with children".

According to police, the woman had been living with her aunt and uncle in Quakers Hill in Sydney's west when she became pregnant and kept her condition secret for nine months.

Miraculous survival

After giving birth to a healthy baby boy in a western Sydney hospital at 1am on Tuesday of last week, she discharged herself early that afternoon and, police allege, took her baby and placed him in a stormwater drain around 500m from her home.

The baby was apparently put through a small opening under the concrete slab over the drain and fell the 2.5m drop to the bottom.

Five days later, last Sunday morning, David Otte and his daughter Hayley, heard a crying sound coming from a drain as they cycled on the M5 motorway and, thinking it was a kitten, discovered the baby boy miraculously alive.


A picture of the accused woman from her social media account.

Police from Quakers Hill Local Area Command retrieved the baby, which was wrapped in a pink striped blanket, from the drain.

The drain was covered by a concrete slab which weighed over 200kg and took six people to lift, including two police officers who had arrived at the scene.

The baby had blood on his head and was taken to hospital where it was found he was severely dehydrated and had bleeding on the brain.

Police tracked down the woman and charged her on Sunday evening.
The son of the Seventh Day Adventist pastor who leads the church where the woman and her family are members told Daily Mail Australia his father had spoken to her in prison on Wednesday.

He said she "was trying to keep on top of things" while incarcerated in a Sydney jail, believed to be Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre.

He described her as a "very happy person" who was "very good around children and young people at the church".

He said that she was "a quiet girl" but that "she's an island girl, so she's got a bit of bite in her" and that might help her cope while in prison awaiting trial for attempted murder.

He said the reason she hid the pregnancy was less about the church and for "cultural reasons" to do with the traditional Samoan community, but he believed the father of the child was Samoan and had "perhaps moved away".

The woman, whose case was heard briefly in Penrith Local Court on Friday, is expected to appear via audio visual link from jail in December.

'Happy Eleven Weeks Princess'

Court documents state the child was placed in the 2.4-metre deep drain on Tuesday - less than 24 hours after he was born at Blacktown Hospital.

"The accused makes full admissions to putting the baby down the drain knowing it may kill the baby," court documents claim.

The young woman's social media postings reveal friends and family are distraught over the events, and are still unable to come to terms with the attempted murder charge.

Her social media account also reveals that in the months leading up to the day the woman secretly gave birth, dumped her newborn son and then was tracked down by police who charged her with attempted murder, the woman posts photo after photo of newborn relatives with loving messages.

"Happy Eleven Weeks Princess." she has posted with double pictures of an infant dressed in pink.

In another post from earlier this year, below a photograph of her with a relative's baby, she says, "Awww, it's mine."

Another post with photos of the same baby dressed in a singlet and nappy has 'I love you' written with the accused's name next to it.
In earlier posts, the young woman's life appears to revolve around her work friends, family and the church.

Last year, she posted a happy birthday to her auntie, with whom she was living in Quakers Hill until her arrest, saying: "Happy Birthday to the lady of our house an amazing, aunty, mom, chef ... hero!! Thank God for you [and] may our Good Lord continue to Bless you with many more years to come. Love you loads xox"

She is pictured at a relative's wedding in a black dress and carrying a bouquet.

'Can't believe it'

She posted pictures of herself attending a church concert and also celebrating birthdays with work friends.

In a posting in March last year of herself with a young boy she says "happy 4th birthday to my son" and says "cant wait to c u again" and "miss u mate".

On Thursday, Samoan friends put up a poster which said: "Stay Strong and God will be with you", accompanied by the note, "God be with you Sis."

On Tuesday, the day after the woman made her first court appearance accused of attempted murderer, a close relative posted on Facebook: "HEARTBREAKING - feeling sad."

A flurry of responses from friends and relatives in Australia, New Zealand and Samoa included "Pray Mama, just pray!!" and "Shocking..... Shocking.... Omg, still can't believe it!!."

The woman, believed to be an aunt of the accued, responded: "Thanks guys right now i feel so empty i can't eat or sleep ... I'm still crying, sorry I can't help it."

The friends responded: "I know but be strong ok, we're here to give you our strength and love so you can do the same for her. Rest your mind, body and heart you're gonna need the strength tomorrow. Love you xx

"Love u so much [name deleted] we will get through this we have a special family and now is the time when we need each other the most."

The landlord of the house where the woman had been living with her extended family for at least two years said he had noticed the young woman had put on weight two or three months ago.

"I was delivering the water bill and I saw she was bigger and wearing loose clothes, but I didn't say anything.

"They are a very good family, clean. I see them with their Bibles."

Now 10 days old, the baby was discharged from Westmead Hospital on Friday.

Doctors said the baby was able to survive in the drain because of a lack of rain causing storm water which might have drowned him, along with newborns' natural ability to survive without food or water.

A Westmead Children's Hospital spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that the baby is in the care of Family And Community Services.

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 25 May 2017 05:15:27 Processing Time: 571ms