The body of a stillborn infant was retrieved from a hospital trash bin after it was mistaken for garbage by janitorial staff at the Ajusco Medio General Hospital in Mexico City.
Ana Laura Martínez was in the 38th week of her pregnancy when she went into labor Monday and was admitted to the hospital in Tlalpan.
But there were complications and early yesterday morning doctors told Martínez that the baby had died in utero. The mother delivered the child later that morning.
It was when Martínez’ mother went to retrieve her granddaughter’s body that staff realized the body was not in the morgue although records showed that the corpse was placed in a drawer that morning.
After an hour and half-long search, the baby’s body was located in a trash container.
Inquiries by the city Health Secretariat found that a member of the janitorial staff was cleaning the area where the body had been left but didn’t see it because it was wrapped in a sheet.
“They grabbed her like a little animal, like trash she was put in a bag, taken out and thrown in a container,” said the infant’s grandmother, who claimed that the body appeared to have been beaten.
“We want justice,” she demanded, adding that her family would file a formal complaint.
Health Secretary José Armando Ahued Ortega reported the case to the Attorney General’s office, which will “determine if [the removal of the body] was intentional or a mistake.”
Authorities offered an apology to Martínez and her family, and offered to cover all funeral, medical and psychological expenses.