Westfield woman charged with disposing of newborn baby appears in court

(Western Mass News photo0

We have new developments in the case of a Westfield woman charged in connection with the disappearance of her newborn baby last year.

Shanna Sharples, 38, appeared in court Friday, accused of improper disposal of a human body.

It was a quick appearance in court for Sharples, who appeared to be fighting back tears as a not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.

The charge: improper disposition of a human body.

The charge stems from an incident between May 3 or 4 of 2017 when investigators allege she delivered her own baby and then got rid of the body.

Court documents obtained by Western Mass News state that Sharples went to Baystate Noble Hospital after she said she passed a blood clot while taking a shower.

At the hospital, it was reported that Sharples had a placenta and an umbilical cord, but no baby.

While she told investigators on several occasions that she had not given birth, testimony from neighbors state Sharples told them of her pregnancy.

The body of her baby has never been found despite a search that spanned some time in the city of Westfield.

Sharples has also been charged with reckless endangerment of a child and three counts of misleading police.

On May 5, 2017, the state's Department of Children and Families took into custody of Sharples's three children.

Sharples was released on $10,000 cash bail, which was carried over from Westfield District Court with some conditions, including that she wear a GPS device with a curfew from midnight to 6 a.m., cooperate with DCF, and she cannot have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16.

We asked her lawyer, Kathleen Cavanaugh, for any additional comments following today’s arraignment. She didn’t have any.

The next court date for this case is July 5.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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