Woman, 21, Charged In Death of Newborn

By Ernesto Londo?o
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 30, 2006

A Bethesda woman who walked into Holy Cross Hospital this week with a dead baby she claimed to have miscarried was charged yesterday with first-degree murder.

Police said Ellen Violet Griever, 21, brought the infant girl to the emergency room at the Silver Spring hospital Monday and told hospital personnel that she had had a miscarriage early Sunday.

Emergency room staff called police. Homicide detectives determined that the baby had been born alive in the bathroom of Griever's boyfriend's home, police said.

The state medical examiner's office in Baltimore ruled the death a homicide. An autopsy found that the baby died of asphyxiation caused by the position she was left in and exposure to the elements, police said.

"Children are defenseless," said Cpl. Sonia Pruitt, a police spokeswoman. "If we have any reason to believe that the death of a child is suspicious, we're going to take a close look at that."

A woman who answered the phone at Griever's home declined to comment last night. "I don't know why you're calling, and we're going to hang up," the woman said.

Griever was being held without bond last night, police said. She was also charged with child abuse.

Pruitt said the woman's boyfriend was not charged. "We don't have any reason to believe that the boyfriend knew she was pregnant," Pruitt said.

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