EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic and disturbing details regarding the death of a child. Reader discretion is advised.
DOWNEY – The father of a newborn whose body was found in a suitcase inside a doghouse has been charged.
Robert K. Ramsey, 30, is charged with one felony count for failure to notify or delaying the notification of a death.
The mother of the baby, Jessica Lynn Weeks, 32, was charged last week with felony injury to a child, felony failure to notify of a death, and felony destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence.
Deputies with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office were called to a “suspicious circumstance” near East Idaho Highway 40 near Downey on June 5.
The reporting party said she heard from her son, who is incarcerated, that there was a “deceased infant possibly going to be located in a piece of luggage near the dog house in the back of the residence,” according to court documents.
Officers spoke to the inmate, who said the baby’s mother was Weeks and she “didn’t want to go to the hospital to deliver the baby due to her drug use,” court documents say.
He told deputies a second woman, who was a friend of Weeks’, was there when she gave birth and tried to help her. The man also said he spoke to a second inmate, who had allegedly witnessed the baby inside the suitcase.
When deputies spoke to the second inmate, he said he was at the house in January when he saw Weeks placing a purple suitcase in a doghouse.
He said he was cleaning up a few months later and came across the suitcase. After opening it, he observed “an infant’s leg that flopped onto his arm,” according to court documents. He said the baby was wrapped in black plastic. He immediately left the area and “never went back.”
Search warrant issued
After the inmate spoke about the incident, a search warrant was issued and law enforcement went to the home. They found Weeks and learned she had a warrant for her arrest out of Franklin County for possession of narcotics. She was arrested and taken into custody.
At the home, officers noticed the “odor of decomposition” in the backyard, according to court documents. As they continued investigating, they found a “purple carry-on style suitcase” inside the dog house.
The entrance to the dog house was reportedly blocked with a tire and bags of trash, so deputies lifted the roof off and removed the suitcase from the inside.
Detectives unzipped the suitcase, and saw a “blueish baby blanket” and “numerous types of insects,” according to police reports.
When they removed the blanket, detectives saw the skeletal remains of a newborn infant along with decomposing tissue.
Detectives contacted the Bannock County Coroner and spoke with Ramsey, the alleged father of the baby.
When asked if he knew why officers were there, Ramsey responded that he “read the search warrant” but knew nothing about Weeks being pregnant, delivering a baby in the house, or placing the baby in a suitcase in the dog house.
Days after visiting the property, deputies were able to get a swab of Weeks and Ramsey’s mouths to confirm they were the baby’s parents. On July 5, the results concluded there was an extremely high statistical likelihood they were the baby’s mother and father.
The results also found that the infant tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.
On Aug. 16, deputies received a report from the FBI that concluded the baby was between 36 and 40 weeks old and showed no signs of trauma, according to police reports.
The next day, deputies looked through Weeks’ phone and read messages sent days before the birth.
One text message states, “Idek wtf to do bro… and if they turn me in at the hospital, I’m f***** going to prison probably cuz I have warrants…”
Weeks was booked into the Bannock County Jail with a bond of $50,000. She is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 5. If convicted, she could face up to 25 years in prison.
Ramsey is expected to appear in court for an arraignment on Oct. 10. If convicted, he could face up to 5 years in prison.
Though Ramsey and Weeks has been charged, everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.