Woman who gave birth on toilet charged with killing newborn twins

Rachael Lynn Thomas says she didn't know she was pregnant

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Michelle Ganley

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. - A Brevard County woman is accused of premeditated first-degree murder, among other charges, in the deaths of her twins, who she said she gave birth to while on the toilet -- although investigators say her story isn’t consistent with what they found in their investigation.

Rachael Lynn Thomas, 30, also told police that she didn’t even know she was pregnant.

However, according to the West Melbourne Police Department, preliminary autopsy results have revealed the twins’ cause of death is homicide.

[UPDATE: 911 call released in deaths of twin newborns]

Baby Jane and Baby John suffered severe blunt-force trauma to their heads, which was not consistent with Thomas’ story of giving birth in a toilet, detectives said.

In addition, Baby Jane’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her throat and a foreign object was lodged in her throat as well, to block her airway, according to a news release. After discarding the baby girl in a trash can, Thomas threw additional garbage on top of Baby Jane in an attempt to conceal her, detectives said.

Both babies are believed to have been carried a full 39-week term.

On top of the first-degree murder count in Baby Jane’s death, Thomas faces charges including two counts of felony murder (one for each baby), and two counts of aggravated child abuse (one for each baby).

West Melbourne police worked closely with the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Office of the State Attorney to secure an arrest warrant charging Thomas.

Police also said Thomas has two other children: boys, ages 8 and 1. They have since been placed with other relatives, by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Thomas will remain jailed in Brevard County. She doesn’t have the option to post bond, police said.

The 30-year-old was arrested after police were called to her home on 138 Laurel Oak St. around noon Sunday.

Police said Thomas told them she was feeling ill Sunday, so she left work early and went home -- then when she tried to use the restroom, she gave birth to a baby in the toilet. She said she never saw the newborn open his eyes, cry or breathe, according to the arrest warrant released Tuesday.

Thomas said the baby was cold to the touch and blue in color, police said. She put the baby in a blue shirt and attempted to clean up the mess, telling police she believed she flushed the placenta, records show.

That baby was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:40 p.m. Sunday, according to the report. Police are referring to the boy as “Baby John Doe.”

A search was conducted at the home and police said they found blood on the toilet, in the bathtub, on the sink cabinet and on scissors that appeared to have been cleaned off, according to authorities.

Police said they found bloody tissues in the kitchen trash can, then searched the garbage can in the carport and found a plastic bag containing the placenta and another deceased newborn. That bag was located under another plastic bag that contained cat litter, a bloody menstrual pad and bloody ACE bandages, according to the report.

The newborn had an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and under her arm, police said.

When asked about the newborn in the garbage can, Thomas first said, "There was another one?" according to the warrant, which continues on to say, "There were two and they were both dead and she got scared."

Officers sent out an update on the case Tuesday night.

“It is believed their mother, Rachael Lynn Thomas, gave birth to the otherwise healthy twins then took their lives,” police said in a news release issued Tuesday night. “Thomas never told first responders about Baby Jane.”

Thomas told detectives that she did not know she was pregnant because she continued to have her menstrual cycle up until this month. The report did not indicate if the babies were born premature. 

Thomas was originally arrested on two child neglect charges and a tampering-with-evidence charge.

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