Sosefina of God

Mother held in newborn’s death in convent; Samoan came to become nun


Sosefina Amoa came to the United States this month and joined a convent in the District with an eye toward studying to become a nun.

She didn’t know she was pregnant.

So when she delivered a baby boy alone on the floor of her room with the Little Sisters of the Poor last week, police said the 26-year-old Samoan woman panicked and put a cloth over the infant’s mouth and nose, suffocating the boy minutes after he was born.

The disturbing details were laid out in an affidavit filed by D.C. police in support of a warrant charging her with first-degree murder in the child’s death.

The court papers said that on Oct. 10, leaning on her bed for support, Ms. Amoa birthed the child onto the floor. She named him Joseph, and she laid with him for a time. But after giving birth, “she didn’t know what to do and was afraid that someone would hear the child crying and learn of her pregnancy.” So Ms. Amoa pressed a wool garment over his face until he stopped breathing.
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