A Denver woman allegedly high on cocaine gave birth in a sports bar restroom, stuffed the infant in a trash can and then continued bar-hopping with her friends, authorities said.
Erin Pendleton, 29, was formally charged today with first-degree murder and child abuse. Police said the body of her infant son was found early June 26, just hours after another woman allegedly dumped her newborn in a Denver trash bin.
Griselle Suarez, 20, is also charged with first-degree murder. Police said her baby son was found alive in a trash bin but died June 28 in a hospital.
Pendleton went with her 6-year-old son and two women to Legends Bar and Grill on June 25, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The women said Pendleton told them she had consumed a lot of cocaine before going out that evening.
Said It Was a Kidney Stone
At the bar, Pendleton called the boy's father on a cell phone and asked him to come get the child, then left the youngster with her friends while she disappeared for 60 to 90 minutes, the affidavit said. Sometime during that period, the boy's father arrived at the bar and then left with his son.
Eventually one of the friends became concerned and went to look for Pendleton in the bathroom. She told authorities that when she found Pendleton, there was blood on both Pendleton and in a bathroom stall.
According to the affidavit, Pendleton told her friends she had just passed a kidney stone.
The women then left the bar and went to the home of one of the friends, where Pendleton borrowed some clothes to replace her bloody outfit. After changing, she left with her friends for another bar, where they continued drinking, the affidavit said.
One of the women said she had suspected for some time that Pendleton was pregnant, but that Pendleton never confirmed it.
Early on June 26, a Legends maintenance man found the body of a baby boy in a plastic bag that had been stuffed at the bottom of a ladies' room trash can. The coroner said the baby had been born alive but probably suffocated after being placed in the plastic bag.
Similarities to ‘Prom Mom’
The Denver cases are certainly not isolated. In Georgia, a woman who gave birth to twin girls was charged with murder after the newborns were found dead in a toilet.
Alainer Warren, 25, told police she got up early June 29 to use the bathroom and gave birth unexpectedly. She said that when she left to get her boyfriend, the babies were moving. The boyfriend, however, said he found the infants dead in the toilet.
The nation was horrified in 1997 when police said a New Jersey teen had given birth in a bathroom during her high school prom, then strangled or suffocated the baby. Authorities said Melissa Drexler, 18, left the body in the restroom and returned to the dance floor. Drexler later pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter.
In Colorado, where the Pendleton and Suarez cases occurred, parents are not prosecuted for abandoning a baby within 72 hours of birth if the newborn is left with workers at a hospital or fire station.
ABC News affiliate KMGH in Denver contributed to this report.