By Dave Andrusko
A former Starkville, Mississippi, Police Department radio operator has been indicted by a grand jury on second degree murder charges in the death of her newborn baby found in a toilet in her home. Latice Fisher, 32, remains in custody on a $100,000 bond with her next court appearance at the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court set for April 23.
The baby, estimated to be more than 35 weeks gestation, died April 28, 2017, from asphyxiation, although “the medical examiner found that drowning could not be ruled out with certainty,” according to Logan Kirkland and Ryan Phillips of the Starkville Daily News.
A search of Fisher’s cell phone memory and data showed that on April 17 “which was far into Fisher’s third trimester, that she researched abortion medication,” Kirkland and Phillips reported.
She also admitted to conducting internet searches, including how to induce a miscarriage, “buy abortion pills, mifepristone online, misoprostol online,” and “buy Misoprostol Abortion Pill Online.”
Fisher then purchased misoprostol following the online search, according to the district attorney’s office.
According to prosecutors, Fisher “confessed to a nurse at OCH Regional Medical Center that she didn’t want to be a mother again, and had researched ways to terminate her pregnancy.” Furthermore she also told the nurse that “she had been aware of the pregnancy for at least a month, according to new details revealed in documents filed by prosecutors in Oktibbeha County,” the newspaper reported.
Citing a court file, Kirkland and Phillips wrote that Fischer’s husband, Charles Fisher Jr.,
called 911 the night of April 28 to report that his wife, a former Starkville Police dispatcher, had possibly delivered a baby at home.
The EMTs who arrived at their home found the baby was in the toilet, and hadn’t been “wiped off or stimulated in any way,” according to the documents. Latice Fisher was sitting on the toilet, above the baby, with the umbilical cord still attached, the paramedics reported.
The responding EMT noted that the baby appeared to be “greater than 35 weeks in gestation, and that it weighed approximately 6 pounds.”
Fisher has confessed to nothing. She told police that on the evening of April 28 she felt she needed to “have a bowel movement.” She said she began cramping and bleeding, which continued for three hours. “When asked why she did not immediately call for help or go to the hospital, Fisher said ‘I just thought I needed to have a bowel movement.’”
The baby, whose sex has not been identified, was taken to the OCH Regional Medical Center where the baby was pronounced dead.
Kirkland’s and Phillips’s story ends by citing court documents where “District Attorney Scott Colom’s office requests a judge’s permission to hire a toxicologist and fetal medicine/obstetrics specialist to help with their prosecution of the case.
“The State needs to retain the services … to determine the effects of misoprostol on a late-stage pregnancy, such as Fisher’s, and to provide testimony regarding how the use of the abortion pill during such a late stage pregnancy affected the baby and Fisher’s delivery of the baby in a toilet,” Assistant District Attorney Marc Amos wrote in the motion filed Tuesday.