She was a young woman from the islands with a pretty face living far away from her deeply religious Samoan parents when she secretly became pregnant to her first Australian boyfriend.

Then aged 30, she worked at a food storage warehouse in northwestern Sydney, just a 20-minute drive from the home she shared with her aunt and cousins.

The woman, who was to make international headlines when she placed her newborn son from a secret pregnancy down a 2.4m deep stormwater drain and the baby survived alone for an incredible five days, was leading an ordinary suburban life.

After becoming pregnant, the young woman, who was already an aunt to several of her sisters' children, continued to socialise with workmates and members of Australia's Samoan community.


The girl and her sisters had moved to Australia from Samoa during their teens and early 20s for a better life, but maintained strong ties with their parents back in Samoa.

The girl visited her sisters at their homes in rural NSW and, according to later court reports, was originally excited about the pregnancy.

Freed from the constraints of her culture and parents back in Samoa, she began a relationship.

Pictures from her Facebook page, which has since been shut down, show her smiling with a young man of Islander descent.

A family friend told that "She was always very nice at church and good with kids. She had a Samoan boyfriend but he moved away."

This is the 2.4m drain into which the young woman pushed her one-day-old baby and where it was found by passing cyclists. Photo / News Corp Australia
This is the 2.4m drain into which the young woman pushed her one-day-old baby and where it was found by passing cyclists. Photo / News Corp Australia

Despite court reports that the woman became pregnant to her "first ever" boyfriend, has learned she has a six-year-old son living in New Zealand and had a long distance relationship with a man in Samoa.

But by April 2014, her ordinary suburban life had been overturned and she was burdened with a pregnancy that she sought to conceal.

She told co-workers she was expecting a baby, but kept it secret from her family.

A court later heard that when the woman's boyfriend was told about the pregnancy, he told the mother their relationship was over and he did not believe the child was his.

Withdrawn and depressed, she asked her GP about a termination but was told it was too late.

Early on November 17, 2014, the woman secretly gave birth to a baby son at Blacktown Hospital.

The following day, the girl left the hospital with her baby and went and sat in a park with the baby boy thinking about the fact that her family was unaware that she had given birth.

Then she headed for the M7 motorway at Quakers Hill, in Sydney's northwest.

Wrapping the baby's feet in a plastic bag, she pushed it down a stormwater drain on grassy strip by the highway.

The drain in Sydney's northwest where the woman abandoned her newborn baby boy. Photo / News Corp Australia
The drain in Sydney's northwest where the woman abandoned her newborn baby boy. Photo / News Corp Australia

"I just put baby in there," she later told police.

"I was thinking, 'I hope ... someone can find him'. I was thinking he would die in the night."

The girl waited five minutes, cried, and then left the scene.

In the ensuing days, the woman returned to the drain twice but concluded her baby had died when she heard no crying.

The baby didn't die, instead surviving on his own down the drain for five days.

Father and daughter David and Hayley Otte were riding along the M7 at Quakers Hill when they heard a noise coming from the drain.

Thinking it might be an abandoned kitten, they stopped. Police rescued the baby boy from the drain and the child's mother was arrested that evening and taken into custody.

Taken to Westmead Hospital, the infant was 30 per cent below his birth weight and severely dehydrated.

The mother was charged with the attempted murder of her son, but three days later the charges were reduced to abandoning a child under seven causing it to be in danger of death and recklessly cause grievous bodily harm.

Friends and family flooded her Facebook page with supportive, but shocked messages.

"Omg, just found out this morning, just can't blive it, love ya cuz, stay strong," wrote one friend.

"Dear [name withheld], I'm so sorry to hear your burden but only God can lighten it. We are all sinners and I'm praying for yo. Stay strong".

"Stay strong God knows everything. Love!!! Pray for you!!!!," posted another friend. spoke with a family friend who said that while she had spent time in prison, the woman had been "trying to keep on top of things".

Now after almost two years behind bars in a maximum security women's jail, the 32-year-old woman is about to be released back into the community.

Judge Andrew Colefax of the Parramatta District Court, who sentenced the woman to a maximum three-and-a-half years jail, said she had an "extremely high" prospect of rehabilitation.

Although she had led a relatively normal life and was competent in socialising and working a basic job, tests in prison had revealed that she has a cognitive reasoning capacity similar to a middle primary school student.

The woman is expected to be granted parole on Friday by the NSW Parole Authority and released to live with family members.

The baby, who is now around 22 months old, had blood in his urine when admitted to hospital and was treated with antibiotics for numerous bacteria he caught during the ordeal.

His current foster carer says he is reaching milestones but the court heard he will need to be regularly assessed for lasting damage up until school age.