New Details on Mother's Arrest After Baby Found in Woods of Manchester, NH

"What do they tell when a plane goes down? Save yourself first," Alexandra Eckersley, daughter of Red Sox legend Dennis Eckersley, said when investigators why she hadn't taken the baby with her, according to court documents

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Update(Dec. 29 9:24 p.m.): The Eckersley family issued a statement expressing shock at the situation, gratitude to first responders and a desire for people to withhold judgment about their daughter.

UPDATE (Dec. 28, 2022, 11:04 a.m.): Manchester police have shared more information on the condition of the boy rescued from the woods.

New details were revealed in court Tuesday about the premature baby, likely born on Christmas, found in a tent in the woods after allegedly being left in the cold for over an hour in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Alexandra Eckersley, the daughter of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and longtime Red Sox announcer Dennis Eckersley, faces charges including felony assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The baby boy, believed to be born three months early, is 4.4 lbs. and was taken to a hospital, officials said. He survived at least 73 minutes in the 15-degree weather, even while a state police dog was brought in to help find what officials believed would be a body.

Eckersley, 26, is also charged with lying to authorities. She called 911 to say she had given birth in the woods near the West Side Ice Arena, then led officers in the wrong direction, investigators said, 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.

Alexandra Eckersley remained in the hospital Tuesday morning. Police arrested her on an unrelated warrant for endangering the welfare of a child. She also has been charged with felony reckless conduct in connection with this recent incident, police said.

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 — still moving and struggling to breathe — 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 said she hadn't known she was pregnant, though a confidante said Eckersley had told her a week earlier she was pregnant, and about four or five months along, investigators said in the documents.

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.

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.

Authorities haven't given the condition of the baby, but said first responders on scene had to perform life-saving treatment, and that the baby was believed to need intubation to help him breathe.

"They started immediately assisting the baby to breathe and keeping the baby warm and they rushed to the hospital in the fire engine," Manchester Fire Chief Jon Starr said Monday. "We were amazed that the baby was still alive but that just speaks to the professionalism of first responders here in Manchester."

Alexandra Eckersley is Dennis Eckersley's daughter, a representative for the baseball player confirmed to NBC10 Boston. The family had no comment.

Investigators spoke to Alexandra Eckersley's mother Tuesday morning and said they had a standing offer that she could come home, if she got treated for drug use, prosecutors said.

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