VANCOUVER - A newborn baby found inside a plastic bag was already dead by the time paramedics arrived outside his mother's Vancouver home, jurors heard Friday at her murder trial in the deaths of her two baby boys.
Paramedic Amanda Symchych testified in B.C. Supreme Court that she was dispatched to the home on April 2, 2009, after a call came in about a baby in cardiac arrest.
When she arrived, a police officer led her to the side of the house, where a clear plastic bag slightly obscured by condensation was lying on the ground between the home and the next door neighbour's, Symchych said.
When she opened the bag to look inside she saw a naked, newborn infant.
"The baby's eyes were closed, there was a little bit of blood under the right eye, his arms were criss-crossed on the chest and the umbilical cord was still attached," Symchych told the court.
When she pressed a stethoscope to the baby's chest, she heard no breathing or heartbeat. She did not attempt to resuscitate the infant, she said.
The boy's mother, Sarah Leung, is charged with second-degree murder in his death. The 28-year-old woman is also charged with another count of second-degree murder in the death of her other son in March 2010, though that baby's body was never found.
Leung has pleaded not guilty.
Two Vancouver police officers and a transit police officer testified Friday that they saw the newborn baby inside the plastic bag and the baby did not appear to be breathing.
The Crown alleges Leung became pregnant with her boyfriend's child some time in 2008, but kept her pregnancy and her relationship from her family.
Crown prosecutor Sandra Cunningham told the jury as the trial began that Leung secretly gave birth to the first baby boy alone in the bathroom of her parents' house, and then covertly disposed of the infant in a plastic bag outside the home. She told the baby's father, who she did eventually marry, that she had a miscarriage.
The baby was discovered by Leung's father, who had his son notify the police, the court heard.
Cunningham told jurors that Leung gave birth to a second son in March 2010 and killed that boy, as well. The infant's body was never found and the jury has heard that police believe his body was put in a garbage can outside her house and taken to a landfill.
The Crown alleges Leung killed both boys because she was scared of her parents' disapproval.
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