Last updated: 09:58 AM ET, Fri May 15 2015

Woman Admits She Left Newborn Baby to Die on Cruise Ship

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | May 15, 2015

Woman Admits She Left Newborn Baby to Die on Cruise Ship

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An Indiana woman could face up to eight years in prison after admitting to leaving her newborn baby to die in a cruise ship stateroom on the high seas back in October 2011.

According to court records via Elvia Malagon of the Munster Times, 24-year-old Alicia Keir pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday, telling U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano that after she gave birth alone, she wrapped the newborn in a towel and hid her under the bed in her stateroom during a cruise of the Caribbean.

Keir acknowledged that she "should have gotten help."

The baby was discovered by the ship's cleaning crew when it arrived at port in St. Maarten the following day.

Court records reveal that the child was born without any diseases or defects. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Stewart said a doctor in St. Maarten determined the infant's cause of death to be exposure and lack of care.

Keir, who was celebrating a friend's birthday on the cruise, said she knew she was pregnant, but did not inform her friend or any of her friend's family members, who were also on the ship. After the deceased child was discovered, Keir did not continue on the cruise, instead flying home to Indiana from St. Maarten.

Despite where the child's death occurred, the U.S. attorney's office confirmed its has jurisdiction over the case given Keir's residence. 

Keir's sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 20. In addition to eight years in prison, she could receive a fine of up to $250,000, per court records.

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