57ºF

Woman gave birth in motel room, disposed of newborn, police say

Baby found dead in trash can in Ocala, investigators say

Jodi Alexander.
Jodi Alexander.


OCALA, Fla. – A 26-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday, accused of disposing her newborn child in a trash can in a Central Florida motel room.

Jodi Leann Alexander was arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

The baby's body was discovered March 8 at the Vacation Host Inn at 3300 S. Pine Ave. in Ocala, Marion County sheriff's deputies said.

Deputies said that Alexander's friend found the baby's body in a trash can. 

Detectives said an investigation found that Alexander had given birth, placed the baby girl facedown in the trash can and covered her body in towels in an attempt to conceal her death.

The Medical Examiner's Office found that the baby was born alive and died as a result of the tearing of the umbilical cord, causing her to bleed to death, officials said. The manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.

According to deputies, Alexander said she did not want to be charged with murder and that the baby was born dead. In a post-Miranda interview at the Marion County Jail, Alexander said that she attempted to call 911 for assistance, but was unable to place the phone call after giving birth, according to officials.

The Medical Examiner's Office also found that baby Chance had Alprazolam (a generic form of Xanax) and Hydromorphone (a prescription pain medication) in her system at the time of her death, deputies said. Alexander was arrested in March on two Citrus County violation of probation warrants:

Alexander had been in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections since the incident, but she was officially transferred to the Marion County Jail on August 1. She's being held on no bond.