A New Jersey woman has been charged with murder for allegedly setting her newborn daughter on fire, killing the baby late Friday. Police arrested Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, after Pemberton residents spotted her allegedly setting something on fire and alerted authorities.
Davis Joseph told WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, Dorvilier calmly told him she was burning dog feces after her pet had an accident. However, he and his wife realized a baby with her umbilical cord still attached was burning after being drenched with a flammable liquid. Residents caught and held Dorvilier as she tried to flee, denying the baby was hers.
"My wife heard the baby scream," Joseph told WCAU. "And then I slammed the door shut. She tried to run for it. Then I put her to the ground. That's when we saw it was a baby."
The baby was still alive and breathing when paramedics arrived about 11:15 p.m. but died two hours after being airlifted to St. Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia, police said.
Dorvilier was treated for injuries at Deborah Hospital in Brown Mills, New Jersey, and arrested on release. She was held on $500,000 bond, KYW, Philadelphia, reported.
The Burlington County medical examiner was to perform an autopsy. Details surrounding her birth remain unclear, the Burlington County prosecutor said in a statement.
If a parent is unable to care for a child, New Jersey law allows legal custody to be relinquished within 30 days of birth, provided the baby has not been a victim of abuse. Babies can be left at a hospital emergency room or police station.