Parents of mom accused of putting newborn in trash say their daughter has a learning disability

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SALT LAKE CITY – The parents of a woman accused of putting her baby in a trash can in the hopes it would die spoke about their daughter Wednesday, saying there is another side to the story and that their daughter has learning disabilities.

Alicia Marie Englert, 23, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and faces attempted murder charges after she allegedly put her newborn child in a garbage can outside a home in Kearns; the child was born Sunday and had not received care or food prior to being found and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

According to a probable cause statement, Englert told police she was afraid to tell her parents about the pregnancy and “she said she discarded the baby in hopes it would die and solve her problems.”

Englert’s parents spoke to FOX 13 News Wednesday, saying they are devastated by all that’s transpired. The pair did not wish to speak on camera, but they tell FOX 13 News that Alicia has a learning disability and reads and comprehends at about a third-grade level, despite being 23 years old.

Her father said he was the one who retrieved the baby from a neighbor’s trash can Tuesday, and he said he and his wife had no idea the baby might be Alicia’s or that she had been pregnant until they spoke with her.

Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff, said they want to remind the public that mothers in situations such as this have options.

"The most important factor in this is, if anybody, ever, finds themselves in this position, the current state of the law is that individuals can take infants to any number of health care providers and can hand that infant off,” he said. “Now, we don't encourage that, obviously--but in situations that are very unique and diverse, look the most important thing here is the health and safety of these young infants."

Click here for more information about Utah's Safe Haven law.

Adora Nemitz, a neighbor of the family, spoke about the incident Tuesday and alluded to the situation being more complicated than others might initially suspect.

"It's a heartbreaking situation,” Nemitz said. “Even for the family, I feel sad. Don't criticize people, don't judge. Let's just pray, because that's the most important thing. If we cannot say something good: Let's pray."

Englert remains in the Salt Lake County Jail and faces one charge of attempted murder.  FOX 13 News' Caroline Connolly spoke with legal and mental health experts about the case. She also spoke with the suspect's father in greater detail, click here for those interviews.



  • Bob

    Two possibilities:

    1. She’s not competent to be held responsible, in which case someone raped her and the baby daddy needs to go to prison until his grandchildren get Social Security.


    2. She DID know she was doing wrong, in which case SHE needs to rot in prison forever.

    Either way, somebody needs to be in prison for life.

  • Bob

    The beauty part is that, thanks to liberals, she can’t be sterilized. That would be a violation of her “rights.” But we CAN declare her incompetent and then kill the baby every time she gets pregnant.

    “….and I think to myself…..what a wonderful world…..”

  • Trish Ramirez

    Sigh. How does a woman with the comprehension of a 3rd grader and who is apparently being tended to by her parents become pregnant in the first place? Let alone let it go through to the point of giving birth (in secret) and trying to hide it.

    The story doesn’t make sense. If she was unable to comprehend the situation, why try to hide it? Why think she was in trouble? She gave birth without asking for help? With the comprehension of a 3rd grader, she didn’t try to get assistance for her pain?

    This ‘learning disabled’ woman was able to contrive hiding the pregnancy and delivery and disposing of the baby , but we are supposed to believe that she didn’t know that it was wrong or that the baby would die or what it means that the baby would die?

    It would be interesting to get genetic testing done on the baby and find out who the father is.

    I think there is a lot more to this story than is being released, and the family is just trying to save face.

    Either way, I’m with one of the Bobs on the whole sterilization thing. I a human being is incapable of caring for THEMSELVES, why in the world would they need to be capable of reproduction? That seems to be a no-brainer to me.

    You know, the whole eugenics thing STARTED in the US. Hitler stole the idea and went too far with it, then the US had to back away from the idea because it was getting a bad rap. IMO, with what we now know about genetics, it wouldn’t be a bad time to do some tweaking to the gene pool we’ve allowed a lot of genetic disorders to run rampant through the medical and scientific industry’s use of compassionate medicine. Maybe we owe it to future generations to undo some of the damage we’ve done through our short-sighted good intentions.

    Society is paying the price, our children and theirs.

    We’re going to see a lot more of this in a world where mental illness runs amok.

    • Bob

      3 months ago it would have legal to terminate this baby’s life via abortion, and that’s something you approve of.

      • Trish Ramirez

        3 months ago there would have been no sentience. Sentience vs. insentience. The fetus would not have been wired to feel pain. The fetus would have been literally sustaining its life off of a sentient woman’s body. If there is a situation in which a sentient, born woman’s rights have to be taken into consideration against an insentient, unborn fetus, the woman always wins. We are talking about taking a baby that was capable of awareness, starving it for at least 24 hours and throwing it in the garbage. A lot different than your average abortion procedure, most of which take place well before 12 weeks, let alone ‘3 months ago.’

      • Taylorb

        I was friends with her on Facebook. It was deleted. I have a ton of friends, that were friends with her. Before her Facebook got deactivated, she was posting about wendover & drinking. I think it’s ridiculous how they are claiming special needs. She went to my high school!

      • Trish Ramirez

        Yeah, this looks like a family trying to save face. She may not be the brightest bulb in the tanning bed, but it’s apparent that she’s smart enough to hide a pregnancy, labor & deliver AND hide a baby in the trash to try to get herself out of trouble. That alone indicates that she’s aware of the difference between right and wrong. Which is the criminal definition of insanity – an inability to know right from wrong or understand the potential consequences of one’s actions. This is just a low-IQ girl who did something terrible. Don’t try to sugar coat it or pull the ‘disabled’ card. Ridiculous.

  • jc

    Even IF she had a reading disability, that does not excuse her actions. She was clearly competent enough to devise ways to hide this for gestation, then keep it hidden for two days before putting the child in a garbage can. She WILL be found competent enough to stand trial. And I don’t feel sorry for what us waiting for her in women’s prison. There are a lot of mothers in there that will be giving her SPECIAL treatment.

  • P D

    I worked with her for about 8 months.. She told us she was pregnant one day, and then later said she had a miscarriage. She definitely is smart enough to read/write and all the above. What I found odd, is that she asked me to cover her shift one two separate occasions- both times citing the reason that her mother died. How does someones mother die twice? She definitely needs help.

  • K T

    What are the baby’s conditions? Is he/she going to live? How long was the child in the garbage? In the hospital? I want to know!

  • blm

    Baby, is in critical condition and in rough shape but alive she is in hospital getting care she needs under protective custody.

  • mark jessup


  • *

    I have know Alicia for over 8 almost 9 years. She spent a lot of time at my house. As I have been to her Dads house many times. I know for a fact she I’d not special ed. She yes may have a hard time reading at a certain level. And has scrappy writing and spelling, but that does not excuse her. I seen her in valley fair mall 8 months ago. She is perfectly fine, out and about shopping and so on. She was always very rude and self centered. I never thought capable of this! But I really thought when I first read this her dad wouldn’t be living for her! He is a good man, so I’m slightly confuse. Alicia graduated, has a job, drives but she didn’t know throwing a baby away was wrong? I know her very very well. Her and her sister. There is NO excuse for her and her actions. She Use to always sleep around Kearns and very Much into the drama. Yes There is clearly something wrong with her, but not to the extreme she should be let off or made excuses for. She did it because she’s lazy, didn’t want the responsibility to step up and be a parent and stop living off hers. Also being in her house before.. I see it nearly impossible her parents heard NOTHING.. the hole story is really shady. I have no sympathy for her. Only the innocent baby.

    • Kristina Hampton-Whinery

      I am wanting to think that this young lady truly is mentally challenged as her parents are saying she is. But if not then yes she should be charged. It breaks my heart to see people who are truly evil. Ones who would rather bash people when they are down, killing kids and each other for the sake of just killing or that they just don’t care. I am not going to judge this family. I am just praying that all the truth comes out and it not be tainted by what people think we need to hear or see. All I want is the whole truth, not watered down half truth or by people who just don’t like the family or her. People also need to remember that someday this little girl Hope will have to see or read about what was done to her and to see people bash her family and tear her bio mom to shreds. Just remember that this child needs as much prayer as we can give her and then some.

  • Bob

    Only 3 months ago the pro-choice crowd would have defended this mother’s right to terminate her baby’s life. They are so hypocritical.

  • Ron

    yea she suffers from a learning disability alright….its called……”parents-always-excusing-her-behavior-itis” is we teach our kids that there are consequences for all our actions, then maybe as adults they will be a contributing member of society thus making this Nation a better place to be in.

  • whats going on

    Hey she could always say she forgot the baby was in the garbage and start a fundraiser and get paid and get off of this crime, I would say thats crazy talk but its happened before….

  • ahja

    My brother is 26 with a learning disability. His reading is also that of a 3rd grader. He has 2 boys 5 and 1 years old. He’s a single dad because his ex wife decided drugs were more important than her kids. He is absolutely able to care for them! Learning disability and mental retardation/illness are two completely different things. A learning disability is like dyslexia, not having schizophrenia. Get it together people! She knew what she was doing!

  • Kristina Hampton-Whinery

    Nina thank you for replying. I was not meaning to sound like I was judging. It is just hard for people to wrap their brains around something like this. For one she waited 3 days to do what she did. I also know that things can get spun out of context when there is little information for people to go on. We also in this country have had to hear the horrors of people killing their kids and they ARE NOT even mentally challenged they are just evil. I don’t know Alicia or her family. I just pray that all the truth comes out and once it does that people will do the right thing. I know that if this happened to my family I would be devastated. Please let the family know that there are people out here that even though we can’t comprehend what happened, we are still understanding. I pray that Baby Hope pulls through and that the family can heal.

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