No charges for mother after fetus found in freezer


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No charges for mother after fetus found in freezer

By Matt Grant. CREATED Nov 8, 2012

CAPE CORAL - The Punta Gorda woman whose unborn child was found in a freezer earlier this year will not faces criminal charges.

In January, Jessica Smallwood was being treated at Peace River Medical Center, when medical staff said there was evidence she had just delivered a full-term baby, which was unaccounted for.

When police searched her Punta Gorda home, they found a fetus inside a garbage bag in the freezer.

A toxicology report found there were traces of cocaine in the fetus' system.

The State Attorney's office tells Fox 4 under Florida law, because the autopsy showed the fetus was stillborn, no crime was committed.

It is also not a crime for a fetus to have drugs in their system, the state attorney's office confirms.

The law is meant to protect women, with drugs in their system, who otherwise might be afraid to get prenatal care, the state attorney's office says.