Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Teen Mom Charged With Killing Newborn After Hiding Pregnancy

Cassidy Goodson, 14. Police photo.

A Florida ninth grader is accused of choking to death her newborn child. Police say Cassidy Goodson, 14, of Lakeland, attempted to conceal her pregnancy from friends and family. On the morning of September 19, Goodson went into labor. According to police reports, she used a pair of scissors during the painful birth to “pry out” the 9.5 pound baby boy. Then, say detectives, Goodson choked the baby until he stopped breathing while he was still attached to her by the umbilical cord.  Goodson then allegedly showered with the dead child, and placed his body in a shoebox. Three days later, Goodson’s mother, Teresa Goodson, called 911, horrified after finding a full-term dead infant hidden in her daughter’s closet.

During her pregnancy, the 5’3″. 100 pound Goodson hid her growing belly by wearing loose-fitting clothing. After giving birth, she was treated at a hospital for a miscarriage.

It has not yet been determined whether Goodson, a former softball player at Kathleen High School, will be charged as an adult. During a press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, ”Let’s remember she is a child. Where was her support system?” Adults who police believe were aware of Goodson’s pregnancy may also be charged.

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