It has been nearly two months since a Weehawken resident and West New York teacher allegedly abandoned her 28-day-old baby girl outside of Weehawken High School. On the morning of June 10, the seriously injured infant was found on the sidewalk. A few blocks away, police stopped the mother, Tamara Reyes, for allegedly driving erratically, and she allegedly admitted to having abandoned the baby.
The child was treated at a hospital in New York for skull and facial fractures along with numerous cuts and bruises.
Last week, Reyes, 37, remained incarcerated at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny after having received a psychiatric evaluation at Jersey City Medical Center. She has not posted her bail of $75,000.
Roque is now proposing a voluntary program regarding postpartum depression.
Reyes was charged in June with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and child abuse.
“No court date has been set or [a date] when the case will be presented before the grand jury,” said Deputy First Assistant Debra Simon from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit last week.
She said that the baby is out of the hospital and “was placed in the custody of DYFS [Division of Youth and Family Services] and has been released to a foster home.”
Simon would not comment on other aspects of the case.
Regarding Reyes’ teaching job, a West New York official said, “Reyes was on maternity leave when this occurred and she is currently on leave without pay.”
Last week, Mayor Felix Roque of West New York called the situation “very sad.” He added, “The public needs to take into consideration that she could be a mother who may be going through postpartum depression. It is very common after a mother gives birth. It even affects a father too.”
As a result, Roque is now proposing a voluntary program in collaboration with the police department to help mothers deal with postpartum depression. “This will be a program that will focus on mental health evaluation and the well-being of the child” said Roque.
Those who live near Reyes had little to add to the story.
“A nice lady. Never bothered anyone. She is my neighbor,” said a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous.
Others who knew Reyes did not want to comment on her possible motivations in what is still a relatively mysterious case.
A young woman answering the door at Reyes’ home on Monday at first confirmed that Reyes had lived there, but when told a reporter wanted to ask questions, said that Reyes did not live there and declined to comment further.
Reyes, who is being represented by attorney Francis Cutruzzula of Jersey City, has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Cutruzzula did not return phone calls for comment.
Gustavo L. Adrianzén may be reached at email@example.com.