The woman who gave birth to a baby girl inside a Walmart store in New Roads on Friday and is accused of leaving her in a bathroom trash can had been collecting money for the Salvation Army outside the store, Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres said.
The woman who was arrested, Kyandrea Thomas, 34, of Baker, has the same name and age as a woman who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in 2011 in the death of a 3-year-old girl who was left inside a day care center van for nearly six hours in scorching heat in 2009.
"It's my understanding that this is the same person who pleaded guilty in the Wanda's World case," 19th Judicial District Attorney Hillar Moore III said, referring to the name of the day care center.
In the 2009-case, Kyandrea Thomas was one of two former employees of the now-defunct Wanda’s Kids World on Brady Street put on probation for five years and ordered to perform 10,000 hours of community service apiece. Thomas was an aide in the van.
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Torres' deputies and New Roads police were able to identify the woman who left the infant at the Walmart after interviewing witnesses and reviewing video recordings. The baby was discovered, still alive, by a store attendant shortly after 8 p.m. and was believed to be about six hours old when she was found, authorities said.
Thomas was arrested and booked into Parish Prison Saturday morning, and will face a count of attempted second degree murder, said New Roads police chief Kevin McDonald.
Thomas was booked as a fugitive wanted by Pointe Coupee Parish. After she is transported to Pointe Coupee Parish jail, she will be booked on the attempted murder count, according to McDonald.
McDonald said Thomas gave a full confession to police.
The baby is in stable condition, McDonald said. Friday afternoon, the baby was taken to Pointe Coupee General Hospital then airlifted to Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, he said.
"It's a very emotional situation to say the least," Torres said. "We don't know all the facts or what the motivation was for it, but it was a senseless act on her part."
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