Grand jury indicts mother of dead newborn

24-year-old charged with second-degree murder


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The mother of a newborn baby that was found dead in an Eagle River park Oct. 15 was charged with second-degree murder Friday, Oct. 25.

U.S. Army Alaska Specialist Ashley Ard, 24, was taken to Anchorage Jail on Friday evening with bail set at $250,000 cash plus a third-party custodian, Anchorage Police said in a written statement.

A grand jury indicted Ard on one count of second-degree murder Friday. According to the indictment, Ard “knowingly engaged in conduct that resulted in the death of another person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Ard gave birth at her Eagle River residence and left the home just before 1 a.m. on Oct. 15, APD said. Ard then went to Turner Park where she left her daughter under a bush wrapped in a towel, APD said.  

A resident found the baby at 9:34 a.m. and reported to police that she was not breathing.

The medical examiner conducted an autopsy of the newborn, however, results are still pending.

Police located Ard after she called 9-1-1 for medical assistance the evening of Oct. 15. APD said it was contacted by Anchorage Fire Department medics who were responding to a female in Eagle River with injuries consistent to those of someone who might have given birth.

Ard is expected to be arraigned in Anchorage Superior Court on Tuesday, Oct. 29. If convicted, Ard faces 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000, APD said.

Ard, of Portsmouth, Va., came to Alaska in late September, APD said.

Check www.alaskastar.com for updates. 

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