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News

Orange County Woman Charged With Murder After Baby Found In Dirt Field

Nicole Layman
Nicole Layman Photo Credit: Port Jervis Police Department

A 22-year-old woman has been arrested for the murder of her newborn daughter who was allegedly left outside in freezing temperatures to die.

Orange County resident Nicole Layman, of Port Jervis, was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 18, by detectives, said police.

According to police, the child -- named Sophia Grace -- was found lying around 10:30 p.m. in a dirt lot on Nov. 12, 2019, at the intersection of Hornbeck Avenue and Brooklyn Street in Port Jervis, Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden said.

Worden said the child's umbilical cord was still attached and police, who flooded the area, were quickly able to locate Layman as the mother.

Worden, along with Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler, both said the wait for the arrest was due to the length of time it takes for forensic results and waiting for reports from two medical examiner's.

"This case was done as expeditiously as it could have been done," Hoovler said during a press conference.

Worden, who became emotional when first describing finding the tiny infant, said the public expects TV CSI results, but real-life police work takes time.

The medical examiner ruled the child's death as a homicide due to exposure.

Layman has been charged with second-degree murder. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life on the charge.

The chief stressed that Layman could have turned over the child to a "safe haven" with no questions asked such a firehouse.

“The grave nature of the crime for which the defendant is accused has emotionally touched all involved in this investigation and our community at large," said Worden. "I ask for the public to keep baby Sophia Grace Hadden, all who have been directly impacted by her tragic death and our community at large in their thoughts and prayers”.

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