Prosecutor’s office: 2 women arrested in connection to remains of human fetus discovered in Wayne
Authorities have arrested two women after the remains of a human fetus were found in the basement of a Wayne Township home. Police announced the arrests on Wednesday.
Amanda Walker, 36, and Nicole Tsentas, 33, were charged with disturbing and desecrating humans – a second-degree crime.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office says that Wayne police were called to the home on Balsam Road Sunday evening. They say Tsentas gave birth to the child sometime in July 2020 and that the baby wasn’t moving or breathing. Tsentas allegedly confided in Walker about this and Walker allegedly helped to put the fetus in a storage container in the basement.
The situation has brought renewed focus on New Jersey’s Safe Haven Laws.
Marie Tasy wrote the New Jersey Safe Haven Law. It has been in effect since 2000 for women in crisis pregnancies.
"We are hoping women choose to use the Safe Haven Law… They panic and they would leave their babies in an unsafe environment. Or intentionally or unintentionally end the life of their babies,” Tasy says. “What this law says is, ‘Don’t panic. Don’t be afraid, there is a safe place for the baby.”
Babies under 1 month old born unharmed can be dropped off at a hospital or 24-hour rescue squad or fire station no questions asked. If the baby isn’t picked up after 21 days, he or she will be put up for adoption.
"In addition to the Safe Haven Law, there are 40 pregnancy centers that help women in the state of New Jersey. They are not funded by the government, they are self-funded and they help women who are in crisis pregnancies,” says Tasy.
Tsentas and Walker are expected in court on Friday.
The fetus is in the custody of the medical examiner. Autopsy results are pending.