CHARDON, Ohio — A Euclid woman convicted of murder after she put her newborn baby, umbilical cord still attached, in a garbage bag and left it in the woods in Geauga County in 1993, will be sentenced Tuesday.
Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, the child’s mother, was found guilty by a jury of murder and not guilty of aggravated murder.
Ritchey will appear via remotely from the Geauga County Jail at 1:30 p.m. for her sentencing. Watch it in the media player below:
The jury deliberated for a just few hours before delivering the verdict on April 4.
"The jury's verdict in this case, by saying it was only a purposeful killing and rejecting the aggravated murder, the jury said that she did not have the plan ahead of time to kill the child. In common parlance, it was not a premeditated killing," said Michael Benza, a senior professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. "
The case was coined "Geauga's Child," a cold case that haunted authorities for decades.
The case all started on March 25, 1993, when a newborn baby was found near Sidley Road in Thompson Township. The child was partially dismembered and still had his umbilical cord attached. Authorities said the child had been placed in a trash bag and left in a wooded area but was dragged to the side of the road by animals.
Sheriff deputies stated that familial DNA from a voluntary ancestry online database was used to track Ritchey down. They identified distant family members in 2018.
Investigators say Ritchey is still married to the baby's father, but that she hid the pregnancy from everyone. They say Ritchey now has three grown children.
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