No criminal charges will be filed in death of Hobbs baby
HOBBS, N.M. — A Hobbs hospital room became a potential crime scene in September last year. Investigators say a housekeeper found the bathroom area full of blood after a 16-year-old girl and her mom left the room.
The housekeeper then found a newborn baby in the toilet.
Investigators begin to track down the teen, her mom, and the treatment team – Dr. Paul Mallett and registered nurse Catherine Abney. Both medical professionals told investigators the teen came in for abdominal pain.
Investigator: “Was she showing any signs of pregnancy, like physically, could you tell?”
Abney: “No, ma’am.”
They still did a pregnancy test when the teen checked in. As they waited for the result, Abney says the teen started bleeding.
“We did get the pregnancy test, I was like, oh, she’s miscarrying, that’s why she’s bleeding,” Abney told investigators.
Abney says she was not the one to tell the girl she was pregnant, or having a miscarriage.
“I don’t know what was said between her and the doctor and like, the test results,” Abney said.
Investigator: “Who told her she was having a miscarriage?”
Mallett: “Um, she must’ve… I didn’t tell her.”
Investigator: “OK, do you know who did?”
Mallett: “No I don’t.”
Investigator: “How did you know she was having a miscarriage?”
Mallett: “I didn’t know she was having a miscarriage.”
The doctor said he only told the teen and her mom he couldn’t do a certain scan because of the pregnancy, and claims they refused further care after that. He told investigators though, he was aware of her bleeding.
“They said they didn’t want any further treatment so I let them go,” Mallett said.
Investigators later interviewed the teen and her mom. The teen’s mother told police no one at the hospital told her about the pregnancy.
The teen also denied knowing she was carrying a child and told police she didn’t remember delivering the baby.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce doesn’t normally discuss her decisions, but told KOB 4 that in this case, there was no evidence of a crime – only a medical issue that she encourages people to seek care for, without fear.
KOB 4 reached out to the system that owns the Hobbs hospital about whether the doctor and nurse involved still work there. A spokeswoman said they do not comment on personnel matters. She added the hospital did an internal investigation and cooperated with law enforcement.