NEPTUNE – Two Neptune teens have pled guilty to their roles in the death of a newborn in March of 2019, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Jada M. McClain, 18, pleaded guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter and Quaimere Mohammed, 19, pleaded guilty to second degree Disturbing or Desecrating Human Remains in connection with the infanticide.
McClain is facing a sentence of 10 years in prison on the Aggravated Manslaughter subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA). Mohammed is facing a sentence of 5 years in state prison on the Disturbing or Desecrating Human Remains offense.
The Neptune Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit launched an investigation into the matter, discovering that McClain had become pregnant by her boyfriend, Quaimere Mohammed, a student at Asbury Park High School, sometime in July 2018.
McClain hid the her pregnancy from her parents and gave birth to a boy in the early morning hours of March 29, 2019, in her home. After giving birth, she pressed her hands on the boy’s chest until he stopped breathing. Later that morning, McClain and Mohammed disposed of the child’s body in a dumpster on Monroe Avenue in Asbury Park. Surveillance footage captured Mohammed disposing of the child’s body near the Washington Village apartment complex.
The contents of the dumpster, including the newborn’s remains, were transported to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls, they were compacted and buried. The infant’s body was never recovered.
“This case is a horrible tragedy. An infant is dead and two young people are going to prison. None of this should have happened. Young persons who are not yet ready for parenthood need to understand that there are safe, legal and completely confidential ways to give up custody of a newborn,” said Gramiccioni.
Sentencing for McClain and Mohammed is scheduled for March 20 in Monmouth County Superior Court. McClain remains incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, where she has been detained since her arrest.
On August 7, 2000, the New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act became law. The law allows a parent who is unable or unwilling to care for an infant to give up custody of a baby who is less than 30 days old, safely, legally and anonymously. All that is required is that the baby be brought to a hospital emergency room or police station in New Jersey. As long as the child shows no signs of intentional abuse, no names or other information is required from the person delivering the baby.