Mother faces manslaughter charges after stuffing her newborn in plastic bag

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Guam – Child Abuse is undoubtedly a horrible crime, but one mother has allegedly taken abusing her child a step further and is now accused of killing her newborn baby.

For most expectant mothers, giving birth to a child is a joyous occasion, one that is celebrated with family, but in this gruesome case, the mother apparently did not want her child and instead brought her newborn into this world only to leave her to die, according to court documents.

Three weeks ago, 23-year old Melissa Iosimichiy Fuppul arrived at the Guam Regional Medical City carrying her newborn daughter like discarded trash. The baby girl was only a few hours old when her mother allegedly left her to die. Court documents refer to the new born as “Baby Girl Fuppul.” She was born at 8:40 in the morning and was pronounced dead about two hours later.

Her mother had given birth to her at home and told police that she did not render any care to the Baby Girl for approximately 35 minutes. Instead she placed the newborn in the bathroom sink, state court documents.

Fuppul claims that at this point the baby girl was not moving so she left the newborn in the sink while she showered, changed her clothes, laid on her bed and made a phone call. But it wasn’t to 911. The call she placed was to her boyfriend. All of these events, according to court documents, took place with in an hour.

After calling her boyfriend, police say that she returned to the bathroom, took her baby out of the sink and placed her in a plastic grocery bag and a cloth tote. As her child lay wrapped in the two bags she began cleaning the bathroom. This took an additional five minutes.

Court documents state that Melissa then left and walked toward NCS Mart where she met her boyfriend. Her boyfriend told authorities that he had no knowledge of the pregnancy before that day, stating that he repeatedly encouraged Melissa to take the newborn to the hospital.

Court documents state that Melissa admitted that she hid her pregnancy from her family and boyfriend, further telling police that she knew what she had done was “wrong.”

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola determined that the Baby Girl was born alive and that the cause of death was suffocation. This indicates that when Melissa placed the newborn in the plastic bag she was breathing and alive. Espinola has ruled the newborn’s death a homicide.

Melissa Fuppul has since been charged with manslaughter as a first degree felony and child abuse as a third degree felony. She was booked and confined.

The rate of death for children on Guam is nearly double that of the mainland. Statistics show that there are 3,449 children in 2017 who were maltreated, 176 of them are in crisis, further showing that there have been 83 deaths of children ranging in age from the day they are born to 28 days old.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.