Sosa Charged with Second Degree Murder in the Death of her Newborn Son

October 28, 2007
Dwayne Page

18 year old Lillian Elizebeth Sosa of Talley Road, Smithville is in the DeKalb County Jail, charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn baby on Friday night.

Sosa's bond is set at one million dollars.

She will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Courton Thursday, November 8th, unless a bond reduction hearing is held earlier.

Sosa was released from the Cookeville Hospital today (Monday) after undergoing emergency surgery Saturday.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings held a press conference with local and Nashville media Sunday afternoon to provide more details about the case and the investigation that led to Sosa's arrest.

Chief Jennings says Sosa, an Hispanic who speaks little or no English, has only been in this country for about a month and lives with relatives at 342 Talley Road, Smithville. She was recently employed as a waitress at the El Rancho Restaurant at 1101 West Broad Street, Smithville and had only worked there one day last week and for an hour and a half Friday, before leaving the restaurant after giving birth to the child and dumping it in a ladies restroom trash can.

According to Chief Jennings, Sosa apparently locked herself in the ladies restroom of the restaurant and gave birth to the child, possibly between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. She then came out of the restroom, told her boss that she needed to leave because she was sick, and called for someone to give her a ride home. Sosa's aunt reportedly came to the restaurant and picked her up.

Jennings says the child was discovered around 9:20 p.m. by a waitress, Karla Leon, who went into the ladies rest room to clean up, as staff were preparing to close the restaurant for the night. Leon then reported her discovery to the manager and they called 911. "The officers arrived and talked to the restaurant manager, Alfredo Villa. He said that the baby was discovered when one of the employees was cleaning up the restroom at the end of the business day. Customers had already left the restaurant when she discovered the body."

"In talking to Mr. Villa, we found out that they were very busy that night. They had probably 40 or 42 people in the restaurant during that period of time. We tried to pinpoint the exact time this might have happened and in talking to Mr. Villa we found out that between 7:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. was when they were really busy. During that period of time, there was a female customer who complained that she couldn't get in the ladies rest room for about 20 minutes because the door was locked. Eventually, whoever was in there left, and she (female customer) went in to use the rest room and saw blood spots on the floor, on the toilet, and in various places. Mr. Villa sent a waitress, Karla Leon in to clean the rest room. She went in and cleaned it up with bleach."

"They closed the restaurant around 9:20 p.m. and Mr Villa told Karla to go back into the rest rooms to clean them again. When she went in to the women's rest room to clean it up, she noticed that the trash can was a lot heavier than normal. She reached into the trash can, which had a flip top lid on it, looked in and saw a baby's foot sticking up through the towels in the trash bag. She told the manager and they immediately called 911."

Agents Billy Miller and Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were notified and joined the Smithville Police Department in the investigation later that night, and after interviewing employees, decided they needed to talk to Sosa.

After discovering where she lives, Sheriff Patrick Ray went to the address on Talley Road and picked her up around 4:00 a.m. Saturday. She was brought to the Smithville Police Department, where she was interviewed by the TBI agents.

During the questioning of Sosa through an interpreter, agents determined she was a likely suspect in the case and took her to DeKalb Community Hospital for an examination. The emergency room doctor found that she had recently given birth and suggested that she undergo emergency surgery, because she had suffered some potentially life threatening complications during the delivery.

Sosa was then transported to the Cookeville Hospital early Saturday morning. She came through the surgery fine and is expected to be released Monday, after which she will be taken into custody and charged in the case.

A guard is posted at the hospital around the clock to make sure she dosen't leave before she is released.

Chief Jennings says the baby was sent to Nashville for an autopsy. The infant, a male, fully developed child, weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 19 inches long. He says it appears the mother carried the child about eight months.

The exact time of death hasn't been determined, but Chief Jennings says it is believed that the infant was still alive when he was found. " I have a statement from one of the EMT personnel, who stated that when he was getting the child out of the trash can and preparing to transport him to the hospital, he believed he could see the baby's chest rising and falling slightly and believes the child was breathing. However, sometime either during the transport or after the child got to the emergency room, he was pronounced dead. Judging from the condition of the body, there were no marks on the child. He appeared to be perfectly normal. There was no evidence of trauma. The only thing that we discovered was that the umbilical cord was not cut, it was pulled apart."

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