Family in ‘Shock' After Baby Found Abandoned in Woods. What We Know About the Alexandra Eckersley Case

The Eckersley family released a statement about the very-public ordeal Thursday, saying that they learned about the situation through news reports and were "still in complete shock"

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In a situation that has been described as "tragic," a premature baby was born earlier this week in a tent in the woods of Manchester, New Hampshire and then allegedly abandoned amid frigid temperatures.

The child's mother, identified as Alexandra Eckersley, has been accused of lying to first responders about the baby's whereabouts for around an hour, after calling 911 for help. She's the daughter of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and longtime Red Sox announcer Dennis Eckersley.

The child is recovering, after being found moving but struggling to breathe.

Baby Born in Harsh Conditions

Manchester emergency crews responded to the area of 3 Electric Street, near the baseball field adjacent to the West Side Arena, around 12:30 a.m. Monday for a report of a woman who had delivered a baby in the woods, according to officials. Eckersley was said to be the one who called for help.

In a statement Thursday, Eckersley's family said they "had no prior knowledge of Allie's pregnancy."

The fire chief said the woman needed medical attention, and claimed she had given birth prematurely, however the baby was nowhere to be found when help arrived.

According to police, Eckersley directed officers and EMS personnel to where the newborn allegedly was, but they were unable to locate the infant.

After nearly an hour, police say Eckersley revealed the baby's true location and led officers to a different area. Once they found the newborn, the baby was treated on scene by EMT's and then taken to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.

When first responders finally found the newborn child, the baby was moving but was having a hard time breathing, according to Manchester Fire Chief Jon Starr.

Manchester police say 26-year-old Alexandra Eckersley has been charged with felony reckless conduct after her baby was found naked, in 18-degree weather after first responders searched for an hour overnight.

Eckersley was initially arrested on an unrelated warrant out of Concord District Court for endangering the welfare of a child, police said, and then she was later charged in connection with Monday's incident.

She is facing charges that include felony assault, endangering the welfare of a child and more, court documents showed.

New Details Revealed in Court

Investigators alleged Eckersley did it because she and her boyfriend didn't want to give the location of the tent, in an encampment for the unhoused, where she was living. Asked why she hadn't taken the baby with her, she said, "What do they tell when a plane goes down? Save yourself first," according to an affidavit filed in court.

Manchester police and fire, along with American Medical Response, searched in the area that Eckersley initially directed them to, but did not find the baby, according to Manchester police. Two first responders said Eckersley appeared to be on drugs, but Eckersley said she hadn't used for two days, according to the affidavit.

Eventually, she gave the location of where her son was, and he was retrieved alive an hour and 13 minutes after she called 911, officials said. She told them she believed the baby was born between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on the night of Christmas.

She told officials she hadn't known she was pregnant, though a confidante later said Eckersley had told her a week earlier she was pregnant, and about four or five months along, investigators said in the documents.

The daughter of Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is facing charges after allegedly leaving her newborn baby in the woods and misleading police about the child's location.

Eckersley faced the charges from a hosptial bed and was ordered held on $3,000 bail. Her attorney argued her client was traumatized.

"I don't think it's unreasonable at all that she was disoriented, confused, possibly suffering from hypothermia if she had just given birth outside in the elements," attorney Jordan Strand said.

Eckersley's boyfriend, who was allegedly with Eckersley until police arrived, may face charges in the case as well, prosecutors said.

Eckersley Family Releases Statement

The Eckersley family released a statement about the very-public ordeal Thursday, saying that they learned about the situation through news reports and were "still in complete shock."

"It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances," the family said. "We learned with everyone else from news reports what happened and are still in complete shock."

Alexandra Eckersley, 26, has been charged with felony reckless conduct, Manchester police said, after her newborn was found around 2 a.m. Monday naked and alone in the woods in 18-degree weather.

The lengthy statement thanked first responders in the city for "saving this innocent newborn boy and to the hospital staff for everything they are doing to ensure his well-being."

The family said that Allie, who was adopted at birth, has dealt with mental health issues her entire life.

"We hope Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs for her mental health issues," the statement read. "We also hope that all those who have heard this tragic story withhold judgment about our daughter until all the facts come out."

Update on Newborn's Recovery

"At last check, the baby is doing well," a Manchester police representative told NBC10 Boston Wednesday.

The Eckersley said it was in the process of filing a guardianship petition for the boy, so it may get information and have decision making for the child.

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