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Teen mother accused of stabbing newborn daughter to death

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 21:19:24-04

NUNN, Colorado.  — A teen mother is accused of stabbing her newborn daughter to death, according to the Weld County District Attorney's Office.

Leiyla Cepeda, 18, of Texas was arrested and charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder. She was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime and has been charged as an adult, according to the district attorney's office.

Cepeda's arrest affidavit shows officers with Nunn and Ault police departments were dispatched around 3:08 a.m. Wednesday to a home in the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue in Nunn for a death investigation. Responding officers learned there had been a child birth, and the baby had possible stab wounds, the affidavit states.

Cepeda told responding medical personnel that she wasn't feeling well and that her family did not know she was pregnant, arrest documents show. She said she delivered the baby, who was not breathing, and used a small pair of scissors to cut the umbilical cord before going to shower, the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, officers noticed what appeared to be stab wounds to the torso and chest of the deceased newborn. Officers also found a small pair of scissors, which appeared to have dried blood on them, according to the affidavit.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist in the investigation, and Cepeda was taken to a hospital for treatment.

In an interview with investigators, Cepeda said she thought she was pregnant but wasn't sure, according to the affidavit. She told investigators she had several periods and took a pregnancy test, which came out negative, the affidavit says.

During the interview, Cepeda said she started having really bad cramps and contractions and explained that around 1:30 a.m., she felt the baby might be ready to come out and she could feel it crowning, the affidavit states.

Cepeda told investigators that roughly 40 minutes later, she felt like she had to push. Per arresting documents, Cepeda said she stood up and "[the baby] fell out of me." The baby, a girl, was quiet and not moving, Cepeda said, according to the affidavit.

Cepeda told investigators the umbilical cord had ripped and the baby fell out head first; the baby's face was purple and she wasn't crying or moving, according to the affidavit.

The teen told police she then rolled the baby up in a towel and left her covered with a sweater, went to her closet to get a pair of scissors to cut part of the umbilical cord, then went to take a shower, according to the affidavit.

During questioning, Cepeda denied harming the newborn, according to the affidavit.

An autopsy was performed on the newborn and determined she was born alive, the affidavit states. The coroner noted "a significant number of puncture wounds" to the baby's chest, rib cage and abdomen.

The coroner determined the baby died of multiple sharp force injuries and the manner of death to be a homicide, arresting documents show.

Cepeda is currently in custody at a local hospital. A court date has not yet been set.