LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A Reading woman faces a charge of endangering the welfare of children after she gave birth to an infant on a toilet Monday and allegedly left the newborn in the bowl.
Emmanuella Osei, 23, gave birth to the baby boy in the bathroom of a Warwick Township group home where she was working. Minutes prior, she called her supervisor to relieve her at work because she was in pain and shortly after that, advised her to call 911 as she couldn’t hold the pain anymore.
Osei, who came from Ghana to live with her uncle in Reading in May 2018, told police she was “afraid to touch it” and “didn’t know how to help it,” the criminal complaint states. Osei added that she remained on the toilet and never moved to check and see if the newborn was moving or breathing.
The infant was believed to have been in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, and was transported to the hospital after being resuscitated. The baby is currently on a ventilator in stable but critical condition.
Osei claimed she first learned of her pregnancy on January 4 during a trip to Reading Hospital, police wrote in the criminal complaint. She later admitted that wasn’t the case — having known since May 2018, when she went to a clinic in Ghana.
Medical records confirmed Osei’s visit to the emergency room, the criminal complaint notes, and she was told by hospital staff that she was at least 34 weeks pregnant, possibly more. Police also wrote that Osei left the hospital following the visit, going against doctor’s orders after staff tried to admit her. The criminal complaint adds that Osei did not seek follow-up medical care since the visit.
According to the criminal complaint, Osei kept her pregnancy a secret from friends and family because she feared that they would be disappointed in her — to note, she has an almost 2-year-old daughter in Ghana currently living with her mother.
Osei was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is being held at Lancaster County Prison without bail.