LOUISBURG, FRANKLIN COUNTY - A North Carolina teen has been charged with a felony after her newborn died and was found buried in her backyard.
ABC affiliate WTVD reports that 16-year-old Ashley Marie Reed turned herself in to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. She is charged with a Class I felony of conceal/failure to report death.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the teen's father discovered her full-term 8-and-a-half-pound newborn wrapped in a grocery bag and buried in their backyard near Louisburg on June 29.
Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones told WTVD the newborn likely bled to death because the umbilical cord was cut too closely, citing a preliminary autopsy.
The 18-year-old father of the newborn told WTVD he knew about Reed's pregnancy and had encouraged her to seek help.
He and Reed named their baby Emma and gave her a proper burial about three weeks after her birth, WTVD reports.
Franklin County District Attorney Sam Currin said Reed has no prior criminal record. That means a conviction could carry between three and eight months of community service under the state's sentencing grid.
Reed posted a $50,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on July 29.
Sheriff Jones said the investigation is ongoing.
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