MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman accused of dousing her newborn daughter with accelerant, setting her on fire and leaving her in the middle of a road remained in custody Tuesday on bail after her initial court appearance on a murder charge.
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, did not enter a plea during the hearing in Mount Holly. She told the judge she planned to soon hire an attorney.
The judge maintained her $500,000 bail, which was set after police arrested the woman Friday night after they found the baby in flames on a residential road in Pemberton, about 30 miles east of Philadelphia. The baby still had an umbilical cord and placenta attached; she was alive and breathing when she was flown to a hospital, where she died, authorities say.
Dorvilier was found with a can of WD-40 and a lighter in her jacket pocket, and the baby suffered third-degree burns over about 60 percent of her body, investigators said in court documents released by Burlington County prosecutors Tuesday.
Prosecutors haven’t revealed a motive.
There was no answer at the two-story yellow house where Dorvilier lived with her mother and sister on the quiet suburban street in Pemberton, a town of about 28,000.
When police arrived at the scene, they found a neighbor holding Dorvilier down on the ground and the baby wrapped in a smoldering towel and paper, according to the court documents.
Dave Joseph, who discovered the infant and held Dorvilier down, told police that the woman said the baby wasn’t hers. Police said they found a trail of blood leading from Dorvilier’s home and she appeared to be bleeding while at the hospital afterward.
Her mother and sister told police that they were not aware of her giving birth, but police said they found blood on the floor of the downstairs bathroom.
Joseph said the woman told him she was burning dog waste.
“It was just mind-boggling,” Joseph told the Burlington County Times. “It was a nightmare even if you have a strong heart.”
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