St. Charles woman indicted in death of her newborn

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – A grand jury in St. Charles Parish handed down a first-degree murder indictment Tuesday on a New Sarpy woman charged with killing and burying her baby the day it was born.

Belinda Wells, 24, is being held without bond at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility while she awaits a March 13 arraignment before Judicial District Judge Emile St. Pierre. She was arrested February 1 after family members living in a home in the 700 block of West Hoover Street found the remains of a newborn child near the cage of a family dog.

Wells, who also lived at the home, told authorities that she hid the pregnancy from her family, and delivered the baby herself. She then buried the child because she believed it was dead. An autopsy report confirmed that it was a live birth because the infant’s lungs were full of air at the time of death.

The body was found a few days later by Wells’ boyfriend, Timothy Dennis, who fathered the child. Wells told the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office that Dennis was unaware she had given birth. Dennis was questioned and released.

Dennis told deputies when he found the baby, the legs were severed, and the upper torso was found near the kennel of the family’s black mixed-breed retriever, who had apparently dug up the body and mutilated it.

The dog, named Midnight, was underfed and infected with worms. Wells’ indictment includes a charge of animal cruelty based on the malnourished condition of the dog.

A St. Charles sheriff’s deputy has since adopted the dog, and is paying for the worm treatment while seeking a permanent home for the dog.

At the request of the district attorney’s office, St. Pierre has imposed a gag order on all parties involved in the case.