After examining mother, obstetrician testifies he thought baby might still be alive
By Dave Andrusko
Although I had kept fairly close track of the case of Purvi Patel, on trial for neglect of a dependent and feticide, I did not know until late Tuesday that when Patel showed up at the ER, it took Dr. Kelly McGuire just minutes before he knew he needed to call the police.
The prosecution accuses Patel of taking abortifacients to induce an abortion and then dumping the body of her 25-30 week-old baby in a dumpster behind her family’s restaurant.
Dr. McGuire, an obstetrician, testified he was called in to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on July 13, 2013, to give a second opinion on Patel. Patel had been admitted to the labor and delivery unit bleeding with a protruding umbilical cord.
“This was not a simple miscarriage,” he testified. ”I drew a conclusion that there should have been a baby at the end of the umbilical cord.”
WNDU’s Mark Peterson reported last night that Dr. McGuire, who had spent 12 years as a marine, “became convinced that Patel had given birth to a baby who was out there somewhere and in need of help.”
Peterson added, “Dr. McGuire testified that, given the size of Patel’s umbilical cord and the position of her placenta, he fully expected to find a live baby.”
WSBT’s Kelli Stopczynski reported that McGuire told jurors that he learned that Patel had
told another doctor she’d put the baby in a dumpster behind Super Target in Mishawaka.
Then, McGuire rushed there in his own car.
“I thought time was of the essence and if they found the baby then potentially I could help with the resuscitation if needed,” he testified.
“Did you believe this baby could still be alive?” asked deputy prosecuting attorney Mark Roule.
“Yes,” McGuire replied.
Dr. McGuire testified that although he did not find the baby, he arrived seconds later. The baby looked nothing like the stillborn babies McGuire said he had seen in the past; he described the child “as an otherwise healthy baby,” and went so far “as to say the baby likely moved and perhaps even cried after he was born,” Peterson reported.
The photos were so unsettling that the judge limited the number admitted into evidence to two. Peterson wrote
One picture shows the asphalt parking lot at the Super Target Plaza in Mishawaka in the foreground, a couple of commercial sized dumpsters in the background, and in the middle; a deceased newborn resting on a bed of plastic bags and blood stained paper products.
The other photograph offers a closer look at the child.
WSBT’s Stopczynski was more detailed in her description:
The state put those pictures up on a projector screen. The baby had a full head of hair, ears, a nose, arms, legs and feet.
It was lying on its side on top of a plastic bag.
Jurors seemed somewhat stoic; a few appeared to have tears in their eyes.
Patel quietly cried while the doctor who unwrapped that baby from plastic bags testified he thought the infant looked “normal” and could have been born alive.
As NRL News Today reported yesterday, in addition to the testimony of physicians at the hospital, the key evidence is a lengthy series of emails Patel sent to a friend. In those emails, according to prosecutors, Patel found out she was pregnant, refused a friend’s advice to go to a doctor, secured abortifacients from overseas, took them in July 2013, and threw her baby into a dumpster in back of Moe’s Southwest Grill, the family restaurant.
In tweets posted today, Stopczynski gave snapshots of the trial’s third day:
Jury in #pateltrial now reading 20+ pages of text messages between Patel & a friend ab pregnancy and a relationship w/a man.
State also introduced Internet search history from Patel’s iPad showing July 2013 searches & website visits relating to abortion
Tearful testimony in #pateltrial from Patel’s best friend, who detailed 20 pages of text messages to jurors. Patel cried as well