Charges upgraded in death of New Brunswick baby

Posted Feb. 03, 2009, at 9:35 p.m.

ST. STEPHEN, New Brunswick — Charges against a New Brunswick man and woman in connection with the death of their baby were upgraded Tuesday from concealing the body of a newborn baby to murder and manslaughter.

The couple of Moores Mill, just outside of St. Stephen, appeared in St. Stephen Provincial Court on Tuesday.

Rodney Miller, 27, has been charged with first degree murder, and Sarah Russell, 19, has been charged with manslaughter and accessory after the fact, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on its Web site.

When police escorted the couple into court Tuesday, a man standing outside of the courthouse screamed “murderers” and profanities, according to the video feed of the St. Croix Courier, a local New Brunswick newspaper. The man was not identified.

The RCMP said earlier that it appears the baby was killed and the body was then hidden.

“Police have retrieved the body and are continuing to gather evidence as part of the investigation,” the RCMP Web site said. “Further details will be revealed as the case proceeds through the court system.”

Acting on information, the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit South in conjunction with District 1 RCMP began its investigation last week. On Tuesday, RCMP officials said the baby boy was born sometime between Jan. 5 and 22.

Miller and Russell have been ordered to undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation, RCMP officials said.

The couple was arrested Thursday, Jan. 29, and first appeared in St. Stephen Provincial Court on Friday to face the charge of concealing the body of a newborn baby.

They are scheduled to appear again in St. Stephen Provincial Court on March 17.

St. Stephen is located just across the St. Croix River from Calais, Maine. The two communities share two crossing stations. A third station is expected to open in November.

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