Woman Allegedly Leaves Baby in Trash Can After Giving Birth, Dad Finds Baby Days Later

An Oklahoma man and woman have been arrested and are facing charges over their alleged involvement in the death of a newborn baby. Sarah N. Helton and Kevin R. Helton were arrested for second-degree murder or alternatively one count of child neglect.

The case surrounding the Heltons emerged after a man loaned the couple’s phone and saw a photo of a baby that appeared to be deceased, in addition to messages that discussed the child’s death and the whereabouts of the remains.

According to the probable cause affidavit, authorities suspect Sarah and Kevin Helton caused the baby’s death through neglect between December 26, 2022, and January 10, 2023. Investigators believe that the baby was born in late 2022 in the bedroom of the Heltons’ home. After the baby’s birth, Sarah Helton departed without notice, and Kevin Helton allegedly discovered the baby in the trash days later.

The man who loaned the Heltons’ phone reportedly stated to police that the photo of the baby looked as though it was sleeping or deceased, and Kevin’s message to Sarah read, “Do you want me to tell your daughter what really happened to her sister? I buried her this morning because you left her in the trash.” Upon obtaining a search warrant for the device, investigators found five photographs and a video depicting a dead infant.

In a statement to investigators, Sarah Helton claimed she gave birth at a midwife’s residence. Kevin Helton took the newborn to an adoption agency in Oklahoma City the day after the birth. Nonetheless, Sarah Helton was unable to provide the details of either the midwife or the adoption agency when questioned by police.

Kevin Helton told deputies that Sarah Helton immediately left home upon the child’s birth, preventing him from calling an ambulance as she believed there was an active warrant for her arrest.

Sarah Helton was previously convicted in Tulsa County for accessory to murder in 2017 and was released from prison in May 2022, less than five years following her incarceration.

The location of the newborn baby is still unknown. Although the baby “is presumed to possibly be deceased and disposed of,” the Garfield County and Noble County Sheriff’s office continue investigating the case. The Heltons are scheduled to appear before District Judge Blake A. Gibson on April 24 for a bond hearing.

The story of Sarah and Kevin Helton underscores the necessity of providing adequate assistance to expectant mothers in complex circumstances. Why Sarah Helton felt compelled not to seek medical attention, why Kevin Helton didn’t pursue assistance, and what factors they considered when making such decisions remain unanswered.

Regardless, the situation is a tragic reminder of the importance of embedding assistance and resources for pregnant women in difficult predicaments.