A Granger woman accused of taking drugs police say forced her body to have an abortion made her first court appearance on Thursday.
Purvi Patel showed up at the St. Joseph County Courthouse with a scarf around her face, refusing to answer any questions as she walked into the courthouse.
The judge entered the preliminary plea of not guilty. The next court date is July 31 in front of Judge Elizabeth Hurley.
Patel has 20 days to enter a formal plea.
On Wednesday, Patel was charged with felony neglect of a dependent. She paid $10,000 to get out of jail.
Police say she put her infant in a garbage dumpster.
The details of what investigators say Patel did are shocking.
According to the medical examiner, the baby took a breath and was alive when Patel delivered it at her Granger home.
Police also say she admitted she took drugs she got from Hong Kong to force her body to have an abortion.
Court documents say Patel admitted herself to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center last weekend, and lied to doctors about giving birth.
Once she admitted she’d had a baby, Patel told doctors she was only two months pregnant .
Police say the baby was dead when they found it in that dumpster behind Moe’s Southwest Grill in Mishawaka, which Patel's family owns. The baby was 12 inches long and 1-and 1/2 pounds.
But that’s likely not the baby’s birth weight since it lost fluids through the umbilical cord after birth.
The medical examiner and other doctors determined the baby was between 28 and 30 weeks gestation, meaning Patel was about 7 and 1/2 months pregnant when she delivered.
Police served a search warrant on Patel’s phone and say they discovered she’d discussed her pregnancy with at least one friend in text messages, and admitted in texts she took two different kinds of drugs.
One would induce labor and cause her to have contractions.
The other kind is designed to end the life of a fetus, but only if it was 9 weeks or younger.
One doctor told investigators the drug designed to end the life of a fetus would NOT have worked on a fetus that was 28 or more weeks along.
Again, doctors determined this baby was born alive and took a breath -- even though Patel allegedly told investigators it wasn’t breathing or moving after she delivered.
Sources tell WSBT the infant was a little boy.
Patel had to surrender her passport and wear a GPS monitoring device.
She’s also not allowed to leave St. Joseph County.
Thursday is Patel’s first court appearance. We’ll be there and have the latest coming up tonight at 5 and 6 and through the day on WSBT.com.