The second new mothers lay eyes on their babies for the first time, they instinctively become protective of their child. They would do absolutely anything, including sacrificing their sleep, sanity, and even their own life, in order to keep their child safe.
However, when one Omaha 16-year-old gave birth to her first child and laid eyes on her daughter for the first time, she had a very different reaction. But what she did next left the police and the rest of their community horrified…
Featured Photo Credit: www.omaha.com
16-year-old Antonia Lopez had always been a good daughter and student. But like most other teenagers with nothing else to do, the Omaha native occasionally got herself into some trouble. At one point, Antonia got caught stealing and when she was 15 years old, she ran away from home for a short time.
Aside from those two small incidents, Antonia was a typical teenage girl. When she wasn’t going to school at Omaha Central High School, she spent her time with friends, posting on social media, and hanging out with her boyfriend…
So when Antonia found out she was pregnant when she was just 16 years old, she reacted like any high-school teenager would have reacted to the news. Antonia panicked and told no one about what was going on except her boyfriend
The Secret Pregnancy
At 5-feet tall and weighing just 100 pounds, Antonia was so petit that no one, including her classmates and family members, could tell she was pregnant. And as the months went by, Antonia only gained a little bit of weight, which was barely noticeable.
No Obvious Signs
“She looked like she was well underweight more than anything else, I would’ve never dreamed that she was pregnant,” Antonia’s grandfather, John Barcelona, said once he eventually found out the truth. “In my head, I just can’t believe it, I can’t believe it.”
But early in the morning on September 30, 2016, Antonia couldn’t ignore the pregnancy any longer. Sometime around 3 a.m., Antonia was woken up by intense cramping. “Babe I’m having contractions in my lower abs, it hurts so much,” Antonia wrote in a Snapchat message to her boyfriend. “I’m in so much pain…”
Antonia laid down a town on the floor of her room in her family’s apartment in the Kellom Knolls complex and started pushing. Shortly after, the 16-year-old, who was only about 7 months pregnant at the time, gave birth to a baby girl.
Because the baby was premature at only 27 to 28 weeks gestation, she was extremely small at 14 inches long and weighed just 2 pounds. Shortly after giving birth, Antonia sent a message to her boyfriend that their daughter didn’t make it. “Babe I had a miscarriage…”
Chance Of Survival
Despite the baby’s size, Dr. Ann Anderson-Berry, director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Nebraska Medical Center, explained that the baby would have had extremely good chances of survival if she had been born in a hospital.
But Antonia claims she thought the baby was a stillborn. The teenager was terrified and didn’t know what to do. Instead of calling 911 or going straight to the hospital for help, the 16-year-old did the only thing she could think of…
The-Second Story Window
Sometime around 3:40 in the morning, Lopez made a snap decision that would haunt her for the rest of her life. Minutes after giving birth, she opened the window of her second-story bedroom and threw the newborn out of it.
The 911 Call
When Lopez told her mother what she had done, the woman ran outside and found the baby girl laying on the ground. She frantically called 911 for help at 4:12 a.m. and started performing CPR on her granddaughter until first responders arrived…
Paramedics rushed both Lopez and the baby to Creighton University Medical Center. But, by the time they reached the hospital, the baby had died. However, doctors noted that the preemie was bleeding from the fall, which meant she was alive when she was thrown out of the window.
An autopsy confirmed that the baby was about 25-28 weeks and had been alive when she was born. The autopsy also revealed that the fall out of the window had killed her and that she suffered bleeding near her skull, brain, spine, and abdomen.
He Said, She Said
Lopez told police she had no idea she was pregnant when she woke up in pain in the middle of the night. Lopez claimed she thought she was getting her period, which is why she laid a towel down on the floor. Her boyfriend, on the other hand, claimed Lopez knew she was pregnant.
Soon after police started investigating the incident, they charged Lopez with one count of felony child abuse resulting in death. Because they had charged her as an adult, Lopez faced up to 20 years in prison if she was convicted…
The Community Reacts
When news broke about what the 16-year-old had done to her baby, the community were appalled. Thousands of people left angry and threatening comments on Lopez’s Facebook page. Some commenters, on the other hand, defended her because she was so young and didn’t know what to do.
A Friend’s Defense
“Something had to have been going on for her to freak out and do this because I’m telling you, she is nothing like this. I talked to her everyday, like seriously,’ a classmate said in Lopez’s defense. “She was never really one to talk about her home life so I believe something could’ve been going on where she wasn’t comfortable… You never know…”
Lopez had originally been charged as an adult, but Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine agreed to move the case to juvenile court. “It’s a horrible case — terrible. To me, after we looked into it, the way things happened, it didn’t seem to be anything you would label as an adult-specific act. It wasn’t a planned-out, thought-out process. It was more of a panicked reaction,” Kleine said.
The Judge Decides
At the trial, Lopez admitted to the crime and Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Christopher Kelly ordered Lopez to delete her Facebook, live in a group home, start individual and family therapy, perform 50 hours of community service, as well as ordering her to open-ended probation.