A 29-year-old woman in Florida was arrested this week for allegedly killing her newborn baby whose body was fished out of an Atlantic Ocean coastal inlet more than four years ago.
Arya Singh was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of her young daughter, who authorities dubbed “Baby June” because her body was discovered in June 2018.
According to a sworn probable cause affidavit obtained by Law&Crime, deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on June 1, 2018 responded to a 911 call regarding a deceased female baby floating in the water off the shore of 3700 S Ocean Blvd. Detectives with the PBSO’s Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) and Crime Scene Unit (CSI) were dispatched to the scene along with the PBSO’s Marine Unit, which recovered the child’s body and brought her to shore.
An autopsy found that the baby had been born alive in a “healthcare environment,” but died very soon after birth. The manner of death was determined to be a homicide with the cause of death being asphyxia.
Investigators began an exhaustive search for the newborn’s parents, going so far as to make contact with “all parents who gave birth to a baby girl in the month of May” in Palm Beach County as well as in the surrounding counties. However, no leads were generated and the case went cold after a few months.
Police say that a break in the case came with the PBSO Crime Lab in June 2022 contacted investigators about an individual identified as the possible father of Baby June. The father, whose name was redacted from the affidavit, agreed to speak with a detective, allegedly saying that he’d met Singh in high school and the two had dated until approximately September or October 2017, at which point he moved to Tallahassee and the two lost contact.
The father allegedly said that he spoke with Singh again in the summer of 2018 and she told him that she found out she was pregnant with his child the previous year, but said she “took care of it.”
“He does not remember if she said she had an abortion or if he assumed she did,” the affidavit states. “He tried asking her about the baby and asked for any medical paperwork she had so he could have his own closure. She refused to speak about it and eventually, he stopped asking.”
After a DNA analysis could not exclude him as the father, detectives began surveilling Singh to “obtain a surreptitious DNA sample from her.” Investigators obtained a discarded coffee cup from Singh and her DNA came back a match as the mother of Baby June, police said.
Additionally, Google location data obtained from Singh’s account allegedly showed that at approximately 9:35 p.m. on May 30, 2018 she was at the Boynton Beach Inlet, which is near where Baby June’s body was discovered. After investigators believe she tossed Baby June into the ocean, Singh allegedly performed internet searches for “what lives in the Boynton inlet,” and “Boynton Beach news.”
She repeatedly searched for news in the area until June 1, when she visited what “appeared to be the first article found regarding the investigation into her baby’s body being located.”
“From 6/1/18- 6/30/19, she visited approximately 64 articles regarding her child on both local and national news websites, with most of the articles being accessed within the first two weeks,” the affidavit states. “She also visited PBSO’s and other news companies’ Twitter updates regarding her unidentified baby. The later articles she visited included a sketch of the baby.”
Law enforcement officers interviewed Singh, who allegedly admitted to giving birth to a baby girl on May 30 and throwing her in the ocean.
“She says she didn’t know she was pregnant. She wasn’t feeling well. She went to a hotel room, she didn’t want to stay home so people wouldn’t ask her questions about what was going on,” Det. Brittany Christoffel said during a press conference. “She had the baby in the hotel room bathroom. She didn’t know she was pregnant until she saw the baby come out. She said the baby landed in the water and she passed out and didn’t pick up the baby or check on her at all.”
Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the case has been tough on everyone involved in the investigation.
“When you’re in law enforcement, the men and women of law enforcement always think they’re tough and they’ve seen it all, but I guarantee you when you seen an infant, a newborn infant, floating in the ocean that somebody has discarded like a piece of trash, it tugs at your heart,” he said.
Singh made her first court appearance Friday morning.
Watch the press conference below.
[image via Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office]
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