Idaho woman charged after fetus found in box

Idaho woman charged after fetus found in box
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho woman faces a felony after she told authorities she took pills to terminate her pregnancy on Christmas Eve and kept the fetus in a box on her back porch for several days, according to a police report that was unsealed Tuesday.

Jennie L. McCormack, a 32-year-old Pocatello woman and mother of three, will be arraigned next Friday in Idaho's 6th District Court. She is accused of having an unlawful abortion on Christmas Eve last year after police say they found the fetus at her home on Jan. 9.

Bannock County Deputy Prosecutor Jared Johnson, who declined to further detail the charge against McCormack.

According to a police report obtained by The Associated Press, McCormack told authorities her sister ordered pills for her online and she took them to terminate her pregnancy because she did not have enough money to have the procedure done by a licensed professional.

An acquaintance, Brenda Carnahan, said she heard about the abortion from her brother, who was a close friend to McCormack. It was Carnahan who called police to report that she had heard about the fetus and was concerned.

"There's other things she could have done," Carnahan said. "She could have asked for some type of help."

Law enforcement officer found the fetus inside a box that had been wrapped inside a black garbage bag, according to the police report. After the officers opened the bag, they smelled a "terrific odor" and said McCormack then pointed toward their findings and said: "My baby is in the box," the report says.

She told police she believed she was 14 weeks into her pregnancy and that she was having a girl, according to the report.

An autopsy later found the fetus was between five to six months of gestation.

McCormack told police she had kept the baby's remains in a box in her bedroom for about a week and moved it outside because it had begun to smell.

McCormack has three children ages 2, 11 and 17. She could not be reached by phone and it was unclear if she had retained an attorney.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.