The estranged daughter of MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley reportedly likened abandoning her newborn baby in freezing weather to a plane crash, saying she was trying to save herself first.
“What do they tell you when a plane crashes? Run away first,” Alexandra Eckersley told officers, according to a police affidavit cited by the Boston Herald.
She gave the bizarre response when asked why she left her baby boy undressed in a tent in 18 degree weather as she waited for an ambulance.
Eckersley, 26, who remains hospitalized, faces felony charges of reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child, second degree assault with extreme indifference and tampering with physical evidence.
She told investigators she didn’t know she was pregnant and admitted to using cocaine and marijuana in the days leading up to giving birth in the New Hampshire woods around 1 a.m. Monday.
Manchester police found the discovered baby, who was struggling to breathe, near the Piscataquog River, officials said.
It also emerged that Eckersley and her boyfriend – identified in court documents as George Theberge, 45 – also decided to turn off a propane heater in the tent while waiting for medical personnel, the outlet reported, citing the police affidavit.
The woman was described as likely drugged, unsteady on her feet and struggling as police tried to get her to tell where the baby was after calling 911.
Her public defender, Jordan Strand, told New Hampshire’s Hillsborough County Superior Court that she did everything she could while suffering blood loss and possible hypothermia after giving birth. .
“She did what she had to do to get help. Childbirth is incredibly dangerous, even under the best of circumstances,” Strand said.
EMS performed emergency breathing on the baby, who was first taken to Catholic Medical Center and then transferred to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he remains intubated, Assistant County Attorney Carl Olson said.
The baby reportedly weighed 4.4 pounds after being born about three months earlier.
Eckersley “apparently had no idea where the child was” when police arrived and assisted in the search, according to the affidavit filed in court Tuesday.
According to the document, officers called the New Hampshire State Police cadaver dogs, believing the child may be dead.
The area where the newborn was found – in a small tent inside a larger one – contained a large amount of blood and several blankets, according to the affidavit.
Eckersley told police the baby cried less than a minute after birth, and Theberge believed the baby had no pulse.
She told cops she was worried about losing her tent, the outlet reported.
“Eckersley stated that it was very difficult to survive if they had lost their tent to the cold weather during the winter in Manchester,” the affidavit reads.
Eckersley also said she and her boyfriend decided to tell the cops she gave birth on sports fields so they wouldn’t find the tent.
After pleading not guilty, Judge Diane Nicolosi set bail at $3,000 cash and imposed several conditions, including that Eckersley may have no contact with her son and that she must live in a sober living center or with his or her parent or another state-approved residence. or court.
Authorities also said they plan to charge Theberge in the case.
Prosecutors said Eckersley’s mother, Nancy, told them she and Dennis, her ex-husband, had offered their daughter drug treatment for years, but she declined and chose to be homeless.