Lakeland, FL — Police have charged 14-year-old Cassidy Goodson with first-degree murder after she gave birth to a full-term baby boy and then proceeded to choke him to death.
Three days after deputies had been called to Lakeland Regional Medical Center on a report of Cassidy being treated for a miscarriage, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the girl’s mother after she made a gruesome discovery in her daughter’s room.
Teresa Goodson had been collecting dirty laundry when she smelled something bad coming from Cassidy’s room. Upon investigating, she found a shoebox with a dead baby inside. Homicide detectives arrived at the home and interviewed Cassidy, who showed little emotion while explaining why she a dead baby in her room rotting in a shoebox.
The ninth- grader at Kathleen High School told them that she had been hiding her pregnancy for months, and on the morning of Sept. 19, she went into labor in the bathroom. After using a pair of scissors to try and pry the baby out, she finally gave birth to a 9.5-pound, 20.4-inch baby boy.
Cassidy told the detectives that the baby was alive and still connected to her by the umbilical cord when she put her hands around the infant’s neck and squeezed until he was dead. Afterwards, Cassidy said she showered with the dead baby before putting him in a shoebox along with soiled clothing and towels.
After an autopsy determined the baby died from asphyxia from strangulation and blunt force trauma, Cassidy was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. During her initial hearing on Friday, Cassidy was ordered to remain in secure detention and was appointed an assistant public defender. Prosecutors said they would be considering charging her as an adult.
Cassidy may not be the only one in trouble. Police say they have a lead on who the father of Cassidy’s baby is and even hinted at charging some adults if they find that anyone helped Cassidy hide her pregnancy. The state Department of Children and Families has also opened their own investigation.
During his announcement of Cassidy’s arrest, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reminded everyone that Cassidy is just a child. “Where was her support system?” he asked.Tags: Cassidy Goodson, Florida, Infanticide, Juvenile, Murder, Strangulation