Mother charged with criminal homicide after dumping newborn baby into toilet tank

By Dave Andrusko

PAStartersreThe first story about the abandoned newborn found in a toilet tank appeared while I was away on vacation and I did not read about the death of the child until this morning. Each story proved to be worse than the one before.

Before 26-year-old Amanda Catherine Hein admitted to authorities that she had given birth and placed the baby in the toilet tank August 18, what readers knew primarily was that the child (initially described as a “fetus”) was a few weeks premature but could have survived, and that the discovery had shaken the owner and the entire staff of the Starters Pub in Lower Saucon Township, Pennsylvania.

It was not until last week that we learned just how incredibly callous Hein is said to have been. According to the New York Post, “A heartless Pennsylvania woman gave birth in a bar bathroom, and then left the helpless infant to die in a toilet while she watched pro wrestling and smoked a cigarette, authorities said.”

Hein had allegedly put the baby in a plastic garbage bag, stashed him/her in the toilet tank, and returned to the restaurant to watch the pay-per-view wrestling show “WWE SummerSlam.”

“I cannot get inside this lady’s head,” Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said when asked about Hein’s potential motive. “I have no clue,” the Post reported.

As of last week Hein was being held without after being charged with one count of criminal homicide. The baby was found by a member of the late-night cleaning crew, according to owner David Rank, when they noticed the toilet was not functioning and opened it to see what was wrong.

In the initial story that ran in the Express Times, Sarah M. Wojcik extensively quoted a visibly shaken Rank who said his “biggest concern is the employees, the mother and the baby. … Pray for the mother and the baby until we find out exactly what’s going on. You don’t know. You just don’t know.”

Rank told Wojcik in the story that ran August 19 that the news was tough to hear.

“I’m a fairly religious guy, unbeknownst to most people,” Rank said, his voice cracking. He paused.

“This obviously got to you,” a reporter said.

“Yeah,” Rank replied. “I’ve been on the phone with the police and I’ve been on the phone with my church.

“This is a devastating thing. Having it happen at a place you own? Who would ever anticipate it?”

Louiseann Hein, Amanda Hein’s stepmother, told the Post, “The suspect’s stepmother, Louiseann Hein, sobbed when she learned the horrific details. She didn’t know Amanda was expecting, but recalled seeing a letter from Planned Parenthood addressed to her.”

“I told her she always had a home here,” Louiseann Hein told The Morning Call newspaper.

“We would make room. Would find a way.”