RACINE - A 23-year-old Franklin woman was arrested Friday by Racine police after she allegedly gave birth at work and then put her newborn daughter in a large trash bin, leaving the infant to die.
Breanna Gering works at Perkins Restaurant, 4915 Washington Ave. and at 9 a.m. on Aug. 16 she reportedly gave birth in the bathroom there, according to Lt. Ray Knapp. After giving birth, Gering allegedly put her daughter into a bag and into a trash bin behind the nearby Old Country Buffet.
After having the baby, police said Gering went back to work. She left later that day to go to Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints hospital, 3801 Spring St., because she was having complications, Knapp said.
At the hospital, Gering initially denied to medical professionals that she had given birth, police said.
Officers were called to the hospital at 3 p.m. After several hours of questioning, Gering reportedly told police where to find the baby in the trash bin. The baby's body was recovered by officers the same day.
Police said an autopsy was performed and the results show that the infant was alive when she was put into the trash bin behind Old Country Buffet, 4901 Washington Ave. Old Country Buffet and Perkins are both within the Westgate Square strip mall complex.
Employees at the Old Country Buffet were told about the incident a few days ago and a life coach was available to employees this week in case they were having trouble coping or were disturbed by what happened to the baby, said server Desiree Johnson.
"The first day a lot of people were in shock," said Johnson, 26, of Racine. "We just can't believe somebody would do something like that. We were like why didn't she just bring it here. We would have taken care of it."
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Johnson said no employees saw Gering put the baby in the trash bin but that Old Country Buffet managers had viewed video of the incident that showed Gering driving up to the bin and placing the baby inside.
Perkins employees were not allowed to talk to media Friday and Perkins District Supervisor Todd Condon was at the Racine restaurant Friday to handle media inquiries.
"All of our thoughts and concerns are with the people involved," Condon said.
For further comment, he instructed media to call Perkins' corporate offices in Oak Creek but officials had no comment and said the issue is a police matter.
Gering was arrested Friday for first-degree reckless homicide and concealing the death of a child. She is being held in the Racine County Jail and is expected to be formally charged by the Racine County District Attorney's Office next week.
Knapp said Gering concealed the pregnancy and told police she didn't know she was pregnant. The Franklin woman also has a 3-year-old child, according to police.
Journal Times reporter Lindsay Fiori contributed to this story.