Police say a second suspect was arrested after a baby, who was premature, was left in a tent in Manchester’s woods. It was nighttime when temperatures were below freezing.
Manchester police reported Wednesday morning that George Theberge (45) was arrested and charged with reckless conduct, felony witness tampering, and endangering the wellbeing of a minor. They didn’t say where or when he was taken into custody.
According to police, Theberge is believed have been in the tent with Alexandra Eckersley’s mother when she gave birth to the child on Dec. 26. Police allege that the couple left the baby in the tent alone for over an hour before they found him. It was about 15 degrees in the tent that night.
Eckersley is the daughter of Dennis Eckersley, a Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher. She was arrested for felony assault and endangering a child’s welfare after the baby was found struggling to breathe in a tent set up at a homeless encampment. She is also accused of lying to the authorities.
Following the Dec. 26 incident, she was initially held on $3,000 bail. She has since been released, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader.
Eckersley called 911 to inform them that she had just given birth in the woods next to the West Side Ice Arena. However, she then led investigators in the wrong direction. This was because her boyfriend and she didn’t want officers to know the exact location of the tent. It was located in an encampment to the unhoused and where she was living. She answered that she had not taken her baby to the hospital, and she was asked why. According to an affidavit filed at court, “Save yourself first.”
Alexandra Eckersley’s family is speaking out after being accused of abandoning and delivering a baby in New Hampshire.
According to Manchester police, the baby was not found by the Manchester police, fire and American Medical Response. According to the affidavit, two first responders claimed Eckersley was on drugs. Eckersley however stated that she hadn’t used for more than two days.
Eventually, she gave the location of where her son was, and he was retrieved — an hour and 13 minutes after Eckersley called 911, officials said. She stated that she believed the baby was born sometime between 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and midnight the following night.
The woman claimed that she had not known she was pregnant. However, a confidante stated Eckersley had confirmed to her that she was pregnant about a week before.
The boy was estimated to have been born three months prematurely at 4.4 lbs. Officials have confirmed that the boy was taken to a hospital. He was able to survive at least 73 minutes in the freezing temperatures, even though a state police dog was called in to assist in finding what officials thought was a body.
A Manchester police spokesperson previously said to NBC10 Boston the baby boy was doing “well” at last inspection.
Dennis Eckersley’s daughter, the accused, is facing criminal charges for allegedly leaving her newborn child in the woods and misleading the police about whereabouts.
Eckersley was granted bail, subject to the conditions that she not have any direct or indirect contacts with the child, anyone under 18 years of age, and that she reside in a sober living unit, with a parent, or at a residence authorized by the court or state.
Eckersley’s relatives released a statement, stating that they “had not prior knowledge of Allie’s pregnancy.”
“It’s heartbreaking that a child was brought up in such horrible circumstances,” said the family. “We heard the shocking news from everyone and are still shocked.”
The family expressed gratitude to the first responders and medical professionals who saved the baby.
Eckersley had suffered from mental illness all her life and her family explained that her parents have less support for her now that she is an adult. This statement also mentioned the “broken mental health care system” in New Hampshire and other states.
The statement stated that Allie should now be open to receiving the necessary treatment for her mental health problems. “We also ask that everyone who has heard the tragic story of our daughter not to judge her until all facts are known.”