Police: Baby found dead at restaurant, woman jailed

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

By Justin Story, Bowling Green Daily News

A baby that appeared to had been newborn was found dead in the bathroom of a Bowling Green restaurant, and a woman is suspected by police of attempting to hide the birth.

The Bowling Green Police Department was called to IHOP, 3240 Scottsville Road, just after 8 p.m. Wednesday to assist EMS after a caller reported that a woman was bleeding in a bathroom there and had possibly miscarried, according to police records.

The caller reported that a baby was in the toilet, and other witnesses said the woman had attempted to flush the baby down the toilet, an arrest citation said.

Police found the infant in the bathroom, and the baby was deceased when officers arrived.

Witnesses described a woman believed to have given birth to the infant and who then walked away from the restaurant.

The woman, later identified as 34-year-old Shaniqua Caldwell, address unknown, was found standing in the parking lot of Red Roof Inn, where she admitted to police that she had been at IHOP but denied being pregnant, according to an arrest citation.

Caldwell refused to be evaluated by medics, claimed she had not had sex in the past six years and claimed to be related to Michael Jordan and Denzel Washington, the citation said.

“Based off my interactions with Caldwell, I was concerned with her mental state,” BGPD Detective Kyle Scharlow wrote in the citation. “I also was concerned for her welfare when she refused any medical treatment after likely just giving birth to a child.”

Police believed that Caldwell posed a danger to herself, and she was taken into custody for an emergency mental health evaluation.

Caldwell could not provide a local address and claimed she was from New York but did not give an address there, and also claimed to police she was in Bowling Green on business but would not provide any further details, the citation said.

After being taken into custody, Caldwell was brought by ambulance to The Medical Center for further evaluation and after being released from the hospital was booked early Thursday into Warren County Regional Jail on a charge of concealing the birth of an infant, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Under Kentucky law, a person can be charged with concealing the birth of an infant if they are suspected of concealing the corpse of a newborn child with the intent of hiding the fact of its birth or to prevent a determination of whether it was born dead or alive.

The statute went into effect in the state in 1975.

Online jail records show that Caldwell is being held under a $2,500 cash bond. A court date had not been set for her case.

Caldwell’s arrest citation said that her lack of an apparent connection to Bowling Green and the dearth of identifying information she provided about herself led police to believe she would not show up to court if she were cited and released.

The citation said an autopsy is pending and the investigation is ongoing, with additional charges possible.