Woman accused of drowning her newborn in bathtub of Fargo apartment
FARGO – A 36-year-old woman is charged with murdering her newborn baby by drowning him in a bathtub at a south Fargo home, according to Cass County District Court documents filed Tuesday, June 26.
Ginny Rose Lubitz, of West Fargo, faces a count of murder and a count of attempted murder in connection with the baby’s death on May 5.
On that day, Fargo police, medics and firefighters were dispatched at 9:39 p.m. to 4530 Bluestem Court S., Unit F, for a report of a deceased newborn.
Officers found Lubitz in the bathroom, with a large amount of blood on the floor. The newborn, who had been removed from the bathroom, was in the living room with Lubitz’s friend and was pronounced dead at 9:51 p.m., according to court documents.
That friend and another friend told police they came to the home that night and found Lubitz locked in the bathroom and she initially didn’t want them to come in. After Lubitz unlocked the door and they pushed their way into the bathroom, they found Lubitz lying naked on the floor, with her head by the door and feet by the bathtub, court documents stated.
When one of the friends suggested calling an ambulance, Lubitz said she couldn’t afford it and that she didn’t want them to see what she did, court documents said.
The friends could see Lubitz had given birth because the umbilical cord was visible. When asked where the baby was, Lubitz nodded toward the bathtub where the friends found the newborn face down in about an inch of water, court documents said.
Lubitz told one friend not to bother with doing CPR and that the baby never had any respirations, court documents said.
An autopsy of the newborn “indicated an apparent live birth,” according to court documents, which said the cause of death was “drowning from being placed face down in the bathtub.”
A toxicology report showed the child had measurable levels of amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system. When Fargo police questioned Lubitz about the child’s toxicology report, she told them she had not ingested meth for a few months, court documents stated.
Lubitz told police she learned she was pregnant in August or September. She planned to have an abortion and saved money for the procedure, but by November she believed she’d had a miscarriage, court documents stated.
She told police she realized she was still pregnant in mid-April when she wasn’t losing weight that she’d gained over the winter. She didn’t want to tell anyone she was pregnant and wanted to handle it herself due to criticism from others, court documents stated.
Lubitz told police she did not know she was in labor on May 5. She said she took a bath to ease stomach and bowel pain and fell asleep in the tub, court documents said.
She told police that when she awoke, her stomach felt tight. She tried to start the water for a new bath, and as she leaned her stomach on the edge of the tub, she gave birth within a few seconds, court documents said.
Lubitz told police she found scissors and cut the umbilical cord before trying to call 911, but wasn’t able to manipulate the phone to get to the dial function. She said she did not remember anything else she did after that, according to court documents.
A search of Lubitz’s cellphone revealed messages from the morning and afternoon of May 5 indicating that her stomach hurt. Web history showed a search at about 12:20 p.m. for a website about pushing during childbirth. Web history from February and March showed searches for how to abort or terminate late-term or unwanted pregnancies through home methods, court documents stated.
When asked about these searches, Lubitz told police she did the searches for a 16-year-old relative who was pregnant. She declined to give the relative’s name, court documents stated.
A warrant has been issued for Lubitz’s arrest. She was not in custody at the Cass County Jail as of Tuesday evening. Court records did not list an attorney for her.
Media attempts to reach Lubitz by phone and by visiting the home where the death was reported and another address listed for her in court documents were unsuccessful Tuesday.