Worcester couple charged with concealing death of newborn after remains discovered in garbage

WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) – A couple charged with concealing the death of a newborn whose remains were discovered in a garbage bag in the woods behind a Worcester home were ordered held on bail Tuesday.

Police said officers found the bag containing the body on Monday after talking to a man who reported an unusual odor.

“There was a black bag down there that stunk of death,” Mark Healey told 7News.

Police said officers saw 31-year-old Edwin Santiago and 36-year-old Jennifer Rheume walking on the railroad tracks behind Santiago’s residence.

The two were arrested and charged with walking on railroad tracks. Police said that after further investigation, the two were also charged with removal of a human body and concealment of the death of a child.

Healey said he was allowing Rheume to live in his basement because she was seven months pregnant. He said he was charging her $20 per day, but asked Rheume to move out when she stopped paying rent.

Healey said he found the bag with a baby’s remains as he cleaned up after Rheume’s departure.

“I had her boyfriend across the street take it, Edwin Santiago,” Healey said. “I didn’t care what he did with it. If there was a baby in there, I just told him to do the right thing.”

Rheume’s lawyer, Joseph Krowski, told the court that she is not a killer.

“This is a very sad story and a tragedy. It certainly wasn’t a manslaughter,” Krowski said.

Rheume and Santiago are being held on bail pending autopsy results.

Neighbors said they are mortified by the news.

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