Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said Wednesday Nicole Layman of Port Jervis has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of a newborn found in a vacant lot.
Hoovler says on November 12, 2019, Port Jervis police officers determined the girl had been born that night and died of exposure, when left in the vacant lot. Layman faces 25 years to life in prison.
The 22-year-old is being held at the Orange County jail and is due in court February 24.
“The members of the Port Jervis Police Department and our partners at the State Police, the District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office have worked collaboratively and diligently throughout this difficult investigation that led to last evening’s arrest of the defendant to ensure that a thorough case was presented to bring justice for baby Sophia Grace Hadden," said Port Jervis Chief William Worden. "The grave nature of the crime for which the defendant is accused has emotionally touched all involved in this investigation and our community at large. I ask for the public to keep baby Sophia Grace Hadden, all who have been directly impacted by her tragic death and our community at large in their thoughts and prayers”.
“Infants are the most innocent of victims,” said Hoovler. “It is hard to comprehend what could drive any mother to kill her own baby by abandoning her in freezing cold conditions in a vacant lot. I am grateful to the City of Port Jervis Police Department for their tireless actions in pursuing this investigation. Help is available within Orange County for those who believe they are unable to care for their children. Consigning an infant to die of exposure is unnecessary, illegal, and barbaric. My Office will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners to protect infants and children.”