FORT WORTH, Texas - Shaquita Galloway was booked into jail Tuesday, charged with injury to a child by omission. The victim in this case, police say, was her newborn son.
"I am surprised she finally got arrested," says Mersadie Hurtado.
The details of the case are still tough for Hurtado to talk about, even after all these years. She says Galloway lived with her family for about six years, and was living with them in April 2013 when one night Hurtado says Galloway locked herself in the bathroom for hours, saying she was dizzy and not feeling well.
Family members thought they heard baby cries from the bathroom, but assumed the cries were coming from a TV show they were watching about teen mothers.
Nobody knew she was pregnant," Hurtado says. "She said she didn’t even know she was pregnant."
Hurtado says when Galloway opened the door, all the family saw was a lot of blood. They took her to JPS Hospital, where doctors noticed she'd given birth and inquired as to where the baby was.
The next day, police went to the home.
"The detective found the baby under the bathroom sink with towels and clothes thrown on top of the baby," Hurtado recalls. She also recalls the officer then walking to the side of the home and crying after the discovery.
Police believe the baby had been alive for a time, telling News 8 the child died due to "what is believed to be a lack of necessary medical care." The medical examiner's office has listed the cause of death as undetermined.
The question now is, why did it take police three-and-a-half years to charge Galloway? Fort Worth Police responded to that question Wednesday afternoon and said the case had originally been assigned to Detective Dennis Hutchins, who was recently fired for mishandling cases.
After being re-assigned two months ago, the case was completed.
CPS confirmed for News 8 they too had investigated the case, and found back in July 2013 the child was a victim of neglect.
The arrest is a relief for Hurtado, who hasn't spoken to Galloway since the baby was discovered.
"I do think it’s the right thing,” she said. “The baby had a chance to live, but you didn’t let the baby live.”
The family says they no longer open or use the cabinet under the sink where the baby was discovered.
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