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Mother to stand trial for attempted murder of baby left in woods

South Boston News
Rachel Pittman was charged with child abandonment in April 2014. / August 11, 2014
A Crystal Hill mother who was arrested in April after her five-month-old baby was abandoned overnight in the woods will face trial for first degree attempted murder.

Rachel Marie Pittman, 25, was indicted by a grand jury in July after initially being charged with felony child abandonment.

The attempted murder indictment stems from the overnight disappearance of Pittman’s infant daughter on the night of Friday, April 18.

After first telling authorities that her child had been taken from the home by an intruder, Pittman belatedly told Sheriff’s Investigators Mike Womack and Jeff Burton that she had taken the baby and dropped her off in a wooded area located a quarter of a mile down a nearby farm road, a short distance off Hunting Creek Road, according to police accounts.

When first questioned, Pittman told deputies that someone had entered her home through a sliding glass door and snatched the baby away as both she and the child were sleeping across the room from each other.

Investigators, believing that the woman’s initial story “didn’t add up,” pressed Pittman for further information, at which time they say she confessed to leaving the baby abandoned in the wooded area.

The infant was left outdoors on a cold and rainy night for some 17 hours, until she was found Saturday by rescue and law enforcement personnel at the spot Pittman described in her confession. The five-month-old was taken to the local emergency room for medical treatment, having suffered insect bites, hunger and dehydration but no major harm.

The Department of Social Services later placed the baby with a foster family.

A date for Pittman’s trial has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25. She also is set to be tried on the felony child abandonment charge.

An indictment is not a finding of guilty, but rather a determination by the grand jury that sufficient evidence exists to bring a case to trial.

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