Parents, experts discuss mental health of woman accused of putting infant in trash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KEARNS, Utah -- According to police, Alicia Englert of Kearns tried to commit murder and cover it up, concealing her pregnancy for months and then discarding the infant in a garbage can.

But the Englert family is painting a different picture of the 23 year old, who lived in her parents’ home.

“She has a disability, a learning disability. She doesn’t comprehend stuff like everybody else does,” said Robert Englert.

According to Englert, his daughter was born with a severe mental disability, which prevents her from fully understanding the consequences of her actions.

“She doesn’t realize what’s going on,” Englert said. “Because of her mental disability, she’s like a child. She thinks that maybe she’s 10, 11, somewhere around there.”

While they did notice their daughter was gaining weight, the Englerts never imagined she was pregnant.

“We didn’t know that she was pregnant, whatsoever,” said Englert. “None of us did.”

According to authorities, Englert went to great lengths to keep that secret, by cleaning up after giving birth inside the home early Monday morning, and then dumping the infant on Tuesday.

"Mental illness, or what we call diminished mental capacity, can only take you so far,” said Greg Skordas, a Salt Lake City defense attorney.

Englert’s medical history won’t necessarily be the strongest defense in court, where she’s facing an attempted murder charge.

“It doesn't necessarily mean you're not criminally responsible for the conduct for the homicide or in this case, the attempted homicide,” Skordas said.

However, it will still be significant, according to Dr. B. Todd Thatcher of Valley Behavioral Health. Perhaps not in defending what happened, but seeking to understand how it did.

“You can be very high-functioning and very mentally ill,” Thatcher said. “I know that’s hard for a lot of people to equate and kind of instantly go, well, if you’re that sick enough to kill a baby, if you’re mentally ill, then you must not be able to hold a job. That’s not true at all. You can be fairly high functioning, but mentally ill.”

The infant remains in critical condition at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

36 comments

  • Trish Ramirez

    She knew enough to know that she had something to hide.
    She knew enough to know how to hide it.
    She knew enough to try to get rid of the evidence.
    She knew enough not to get any assistance when she gave birth.
    I’m not buying this melodrama.
    BTW – my 11 year old knows better than to put an infant in the trash.
    If she is this disabled and living in the parent’s home, how did she get pregnant in the first place? Who is the father? What parents of a mentally disabled person with the mental equivalent of a 3rd grader allow them in a position that they may become pregnant and then don’t even realize that they have become pregnant, let alone given birth?
    I think there’s a lot more that needs to be investigated in this situation that just an infant in a trash can.

    • Bob

      3 short months ago this woman could have legally terminated her unborn daughter’s life in any abortion clinic no questions asked. We call it pro-choice. It is stories like this one that make me glad I’m pro-life.

      • Bob

        Yes, prior ot the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 you could terminate your baby at the time of birth. One of the reasons why I’m pro-life.

      • Nina

        Cant you understand the girl was on the Depo-shot and didn’t know she was pregnant. My daughter who is engaged to her son, said Alicia panicked and was terrified she was going to be late for work. Does that sound like a normal minded person? Quit looking to blame someone. It is a terrible situation and if you cant say something that will help, educate yourself before you speak.

  • Kista Martin-Rivas

    It does not matter that she is mentally ill she hid her pregnancy well enough that obviously she knew what she was doing! I have friends who are mentally disabled and even they know that this is wrong! It does not matter what kind of high functioning brain you have. If you can hide a pregnancy and ‘dump’ a baby in a trash can hold a normal job drive a car (3rd graders cannot do nor comprehend this) and lead an active lifestyle. Than you must not be that ill. Regardless of the fact of her being ill she attempted to kill another human being! A BABY! AN INNOCENT CHILD. So are we just going to stand by and let her go to a mental health institution find out “NOTHING IS WRONG” and let her do it all over again? or are we going to hold her criminally responsible for this. She committed a crime. She attempted to murder her baby so that her “problems” would be over and her “parents would not find out”. There is obviously a lot more to the story than is being told. She never even asked or called to ask anyone if they knew where she could drop off this child without her name flying out the window she could have contacted a clinic and asked!! She was high functioning wasn’t she? This sickens me and if she gets let go because of her “mental incapabilities” than a lot of what the police do is for nothing. And that infant she through in the trashcan will have no voice. She is not innocent here and for those that think she is based on your knowledge because you studied the human brain. I feel bad for you. If I were to have done this, right now, I would have been criticized. She needs to be held responsible. She is NOT ILL. She just wants everyone to believe it so she can do it again and I for one WILL NOT HAVE IT!

    • Nina

      First of all you are wrong. She didn’t know she was pregnant. The family had her on the depo-shot. She didn’t hide a pregnancy because she didn’t know. She was somewhat heavy to begin with. She threw the baby away because she didn’t know it was alive. She had a stomach ache all day Sunday and didn’t know what it was. If you think the parents will let this happen again, you are crazy.

      • Kista Martin-Rivas

        I didn’t know I was pregnant on the DEPO shot & I had stomach aches too but would I have thrown my son in the trash?! NO!! . You are making excuses for this being okay. Let me ask you this than how the hell did she deliver without having some sort of assistance?!! Disabled or not she committed a crime and she needs to be held responsible. She hurt an innocent human being that can’t speak for herself that baby sure did not ask to come into this world like that! Not knowing is one thing. But giving birth and throwing your flesh and blood away because you dont know if it is alive? That is WRONG!!!! Disabled or not she knew it was wrong but did it anyway!

  • kathy

    She is guilty she knew how to hide everything and knew what she was doing was wrong now her parents want to say she’s mental no she’s ignorant there’s a difference she got busted for what she done let her pay the price stop making excuses for her not once have I heard the parents say anything about being concerned about what should have been there grand child let me guess cause there mental to let justice be served

  • Nina

    If you are in your right mind, of course you would take an unwanted baby to a safe place. Believe me this Mother was not, and has had problems all her life. She didn’t know she was pregnant, neither did the family. She was terrified and didn’t comprehend what was happening. Utah loves to judge what they don’t understand, as if they are superior. I know the family and they are kind and caring. They would never have allowed this to happen. The parents have grandchildren and love them deeply. My daughter is pregnant with their next grandchild and are thrilled. They would have welcomed another new baby easily. Where is your compassion? Why assume the worst? Your ignorant comments make this situation devastate the family even more.

    • Francis

      Then why has all of their concern been about seeing their daughter and not about seeing their granddaughter, is it true that the daughter has a car and drives? If so how did she get a license if she is so disabled. I hope you watch your new grandchild around their aunt or it may be next. You are just as bad enabling this girl and making excuses for her.

  • bobsanidiot

    This is ridiculous! Hey mummy and daddums stop making pathetic excuses for your pathetic and hateful rotten daughter, What’s wrong with society? We have shrinks to rationalize and excuse s#!**y behavior and make excuses. PERIOD!

    • Nina

      What has happened to you to make you such a hateful little man? You should not spread your venom about something you don’t know anything about. Hopefully you will feel the impact of what you said at some point in your life Mr. Perfect.
      I know the family had her on the depo shot. The family is so devastated. The girl doesn’t even understand why she is in jail. My daughter is engaged to the Englert’s son and they are expecting their first baby. They are a kind and caring family and would have welcomed another grandchild if they knew. Thank you to those who have shown support and compassion. And to those that pass judgment in ignorance stick your head back where it came from.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Nina, what goes on behind closed doors often boggles the mind. These people are trying to excuse the attempted murder of their grandchild by saying that their daughter doesn’t think like everybody else. Well, NO ONE thinks like everybody else. You say they would have welcomed a grandchild, but THEY are making excuses for the person who tried to kill their grandchild. What kind of logic is that? You can’t have it rosy all the time, from all angles. Somebody here did wrong, somebody was at fault. This isn’t about keeping sweet or saving face or keeping up appearances because everybody in the family is just SO NICE. It’s about a horrible person doing a terrible thing and her parents making excuses for her behavior. From what’s been posted here and elsewhere, she doesn’t seem like a very decent person. All of her parent’s decency doesn’t change that. And the fact that your would prefer niceties doesn’t change the fact that not all thing or people are nice. Why try to pretend to protect people’s feelings when the worst has already happened and been done? Just because something is negative or hateful doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or shouldn’t be said. This isn’t Nazi Germany.

  • Nina

    Watch channel 2 news, they have a more accurate story. I have been a fan of Fox 13 for many years, but they have got many details of the story wrong. The media loves to play up a tragedy, not to mention the hateful comments left here by the viewers.

  • Nina

    Alicia is not a horrible person. She is not a normal person. There are things you don’t know about the hardships she had being born. I can t talk about it, but that should give you a clue of why Alicia did what she did. She is mentally impaired and had no idea of what was happening. She is a loving aunt to nieces and nephews. Nobody saw this coming. When my daughter started dating Alicia’s brother, she told me about her mental incapacities. My daughter is also pregnant and this has hit her especially hard. What if Alicia was your daughter? Would you lock her up? The girl doesn’t even know why she is in jail. Maybe sterilization would be the answer. If so then every mentally impaired person should be sterilized and that is Nazi, Germany. C’mon people have some compassion. Look for real solutions. It has been said that the baby has been named “Jade Hope.” Quit looking to blame someone; when there is no one to blame or crucify for that matter. Everyone does the best they know how to do. When they know better, they do better.

    • Steven

      I have met and had extensive interactions with the girl because of the fact that both of my sisters “were” really close to her. She lied to everyone about being pregnant , but there is know way she didn’t know. Something is terribly wrong with her and it has nothing to do with being “mentally challenged” in any way, she is a heartless , sick, and twisted person . She knew exactly what she was doing, and how wrong it was. Anyone, apart from those trying to defend that monstrosity of a person, knows, that she knew exactly what she was doing, at least anyone that really knew her. I say shame, to her family trying to say that she is mentally incapable of knowing right from wrong, or understanding the depth of the wrong she has done, because they all know as well as I, that she is more than capable of making her own choices, even if those choices include getting completely drunk every weekend, like her family, that says she is incapable of determining right from wrong, and how terrible her actions were, know about and allow.

  • mariah

    I grew up with her! Yes she has a disability but she knows right from wrong I mean we would get in trpuble for stuff as a kid and she knew it was wrong she knows the difference! We got caught stealing at the mall she knew she was stealing and she knew it was wrong….. ask her parents that!!! They said I told her to steal when she was the one who asked me and told me too!!!! She knows right from wrong you can use a polygraph test on me she knows right from wrong!!!!!!!!

    • Nina

      So someone who steals from the mall as a kid, is the same as a mentally challenged Adult with an unknown pregnancy? You should know better than that. Can’t you put yourself in her shoes for a moment, and think what she was thinking? If she knows right from wrong, why would she hide the baby? A normal minded person would have called for help. It sounds like you have some vendetta here, because you got caught stealing and therefore want to spread your bitterness. You admit she has disabilities. You say you know her. Maybe as a kid you did, but you don’t now.

  • Just Me

    Nina, it is clear that there is something wrong with Alicia. But it’s also clear she has the cognitive thinking to protect herself. She may not have known she was pregnant – or was in deep, deep denial, but in reports from all news sources it says she was afraid to tell her parents that she was pregnant because she didn’t want to get in trouble. She gave birth unassisted, she cleaned up the mess, she discarded evidence, and said nothing about the situation to anybody. That says she understands ‘something’ has happened. If she is a ‘good aunt to nieces and nephews’ it’s safe to assume she knows how kids should be treated. It’s safe to assume she knows when one is alive. Her parents state she was in special education classes, but she’s never been diagnosed. So, technically, we’re relying on the word of people that are offering excuses for a person accused of attempting to murder their own granddaughter. I don’t think she’s as ‘challenged’ as you and her parents are making her out to be. She sounds more like a disobedient brat who’s parents have been making excuses for her entire life. Parents can’t ‘make’ her get the depo-shot. There is no doctor in this country that will force a woman to get a depo-shot because her parents say so. If she has not been tested and proven to be of diminished capabilities there is no way to force her to comply. Just like her parents can’t stop her from drinking at the club 2 weeks before she gives birth. News source doesn’t matter, the pictures are out there. She’s a grown woman, with her own agenda. You are quick to defend every angle, and quick to accuse others of judging and having vendettas, even telling people to stick their heads ‘back where they came from’. No, we don’t know her life, or yours for that matter. Just like you don’t know ours. The difference is that we aren’t the ones in the news. If you plan on being a crusader for the poor, sad, disabled girl I suggest you put more thought into your rebuttal, Ms.Perfect.

    • Nina

      To Just Me,

      What is it you would like to see happen to this girl, knowing her mental challenges, her shock and fear of the unexpected pregnancy. Would jail time help? What about Skyah Suwyn who was left in a hot car and died. The mother has no charges filed against her. How about Adam Barney who deliberately killed a toddler, punching it in the face. Why don’t you get on their news stories and fight for justice? This story is completely different. Yes she was scared, and panicked. If it was me I would have called for help and I am sure anyone in there right mind would have called for help. I am sure I am going to catch hell for telling you this but, the kids in that family were born to a drug addicted mother and all have problems. One was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and through the perseverance of the father and step mother, this child has become a productive member of society. Alicia is the youngest and was the most affected by the biological mom. Is Alicia the same as the others who deliberately killed their child? Or is she a mentally deficient girl who was terrified of what was happening. What is it you want? To win this silly debate? To prove me wrong? I know the family, I tried to she a little light on the situation. I am not here to crusade for the family. I just want to bring out the truth.

      • Be Real

        Nina,

        Just because your daughter is blowing their son, it doesn’t make anything you’re saying relevant, at all. By the pictures alone she looks like typical clubrat, gets knocked up on a one night stand after drinking too many of those delicious coronas she is holding in her pregnancy pics. Then she does what she did. Seems pretty open and closed to me.

    • Be Real

      Just me, AMEN. That was a spot on assessment of everything I’ve followed in this story. And Nina, you are right, she is special. She is in that upper tier of a special breed, the murderers, or, “attempted murderers.” Had the neighbors not been out that day, she would be a stone cold child killer. People like her digust me on every level.

  • Kristina Hampton-Whinery

    So to the person who knows this family. Maybe you can shed some light on this situation. Have the Grandparents even bothered to go see their Grandchild, and if not why? Also if she is that mentally disabled why has she been left unsupervised and who is possibly the father? She had the baby for 3 days and no one not even Alicia heard a cry? Something is just not adding up. I have 3 kids total and 2 are special needs on the higher end, but even when they were real little like 3 yrs old they knew that a baby is a living thing and that you are kind and gentle with them. They were able to change diapers and help other family members by the age of 8, so I’m just curious how this young lady can work a job, but not have the capability to know what to do with a child or that once the child was born that she needs to get her parents or another family member that she trusts? I am sorry that this child (if she survives) will have to wonder (if she is ever told) what her mothers family did and did not do.

    • Nina

      The authorities wont let the family the see the baby, but they did name her “Hope.” I know if the family had another chance to make things right, they would. They do know who the father is. I really don’t know all the details. Yes my 3 kids also valued life, even bugs. My daughter is just devastated and also pregnant. She just cant believe this happened. I don’t know if Alicia heard the baby cry. I think she thought it was dead. I do know that Alicia was afraid of losing her job and keeps to a regular routine because she is mentally challenged. I guess the courts will decide what is next. For now, I am just heartbroken-for Baby Hope and for the cruel judgment of people.

      • Kista Martin-Rivas

        All that I will say is that I feel horrible for that baby. Sure if she wasn’t in her right mind she could have ran over to a neighbor and asked for help. At least thats what I would have done. She isn’t a bad person but she isn’t necessarily the healthiest either. I want facts now. And right now it seems like everything is being covered up!

  • Just Me

    I’m not talking about “Skyah Suwyn” or “Adam Barney” right now. How do you know their cases are different? Do you know these people? Isn’t that what you’re trying to teach everyone about Alicia? We don’t know her or the facts, so we should be more understanding? I know these facts: Alicia Englert gave birth to a baby girl and put her in a garbage can, and she has not been diagnosed with a mental handicap. Alicia has graduated high school and held down a job. She has a drivers license and a car. She has a state issued ID and uses it to get into clubs and purchase alcohol. Just like she has been privileged with the benefits of being a grown woman, she must also accept the consequences. If she is deemed by the court to be lacking certain mental faculties that make things more difficult for her to understand, she will be sentenced accordingly. I do not know of her “mental challenges, her shock and fear of the unexpected pregnancy”, as several news sources have quoted her as saying that she hid her pregnancy so she wouldn’t get in trouble. What was happening with the family and the baby girl from the time she gave birth until she was found in the garbage? No one in that house heard her cry for 3 days and then Alicia ‘panicked’ and threw her baby away? I don’t think a single person believes that she had no idea what she was doing was wrong. What would I like to see done? I would like to see her take responsibility. I do think that she deserves jail time. It’s obvious her parents haven’t gotten her the help and education a ‘special needs’ person requires, if they truly believe she is one. In jail I’m sure our tax dollars are funding some type of program that can help her learn to be a ‘productive member of society’ because right now she’s nothing but a drain on it. And if she doesn’t learn, society will at least be safe from her for a little while. The only way Alicia is not different from others that deliberately kill their child is that her baby didn’t die. Her actions were deliberate. This wasn’t one mistake, or two, or five. This was months of covering up, months of lying, a seriously traumatic and painful event, followed by 3 days of not feeding or caring for a brand new baby girl. There is no denying a sane person would have sought help, but how can any sane person excuse all of that due to her being ‘mentally deficient’ like you are arguing for us to do? While details may be unique, the situation is one that is all too common in the news. Because Alicia was ‘affected’ by what her biological mom did to her, we should cut this girl a break like her parents have her whole life? Or should someone step in and break the cycle and hold her accountable for the sake of the baby girl she has now affected? Nina, you aren’t the only one who knows this family, and you attacked the last person that admitted to. Take a long hard look at the ‘truths’ you are bringing out, because from here they all look like more excuses. The truth hurts, change is hard. Don’t be another enabler in her life, it’s the last thing she needs.

    • Nina

      I like what you said ‘Just Me’. I think the facts will come out and justice will be served. I supposed I was hurt because I saw my daughters pain and wanted to help. Maybe my comments were not helpful after all, so I am done here.

      • Francis

        I think from your willingness to acquiesce in this instant, when you’ve been so volatile prior, means you’ve found out more, that shows the family isn’t so innocent. I hope if that’s true that you encourage your daughter to keep her child far away from that family.

  • Attorneys Plural

    You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation but I
    in finding this topic to be really something that I think I’d never
    understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me.

    I’m having a look forward on your subsequent post, I’ll try to get
    the dangle of it!

  • Lena

    I would bet anything her father is the sicko that knocked her up… I’m bi polar an have an autistic niece even she know’s not to hurt babies..i say the mother knew what she was doing an I hope she get’s what is come to here AS for the baby girl she is in my prayers.

Comments are closed.