ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) –
Investigators are waiting for the Medical Examiner’s report to shed some light on what happened to a baby they found dead on Sunday,
Police found the baby in Mandy Lacy’s shopping bag at Tanglewood Mall. They first got the call of a woman acting erratically and when they got to the mall police say the woman hit one of the officers.
A sticky note attached to a warrant at the Roanoke County Courthouse in Salem says 34-year-old Lacy had mental health issues. It also said officials talked with Lacy about her going to a mental health hospital instead of a jail.
A director of a child advocacy center in Roanoke says there’s always somewhere to go when parents and women feel like they have nowhere to turn.
“My first reaction was horror, honestly, and sadness, heartbreak, and just wondering what was wrong, what happened,” Christina Hatch, Executive Director of Childrens’ Trust Advocacy Center, said.
Hatch works closely with families on eliminating child abuse and neglect, and says cases like Mandy Lacy’s hit hard.
“Anytime you hear about the death of a child, it’s a gut punch, it sure is,” Hatch said.
She says if someone isn’t able to care for an infant and is not sure where to go, Childrens’ Trust and other organizations can help.
“There’s a lot of home visiting programs, a lot of prevention programs here in the Roanoke Valley. I think if you’re having issues, you need to call someone, you’re probably not going to a website right away, but I think going to a local church, a local shelter,” she said.
Lacy is now in custody without bond, after officers responded to a call about her behaving erratically at the mall. She was charged with assaulting an officer, but more charges are expected.
The baby’s body is partially decomposed, making it difficult to determine the age and sex.
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