She told detectives that she watched her newborn son take a couple of breaths, then wrapped him in a towel, placed him in a plastic bag and left it in a drawer in her basement and she “never looked at the baby again.”
It was in that Belleville basement while detectives were investigating the near-death of another of the woman’s babies they found the skeletonized remains of a full-term newborn baby boy.
Elyse J. Mamino, 30, pleaded guilty but mentally ill on Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter and concealment of a homicidal death of that unnamed baby.
She could face between 12 to 17 years on the charges when she is sentenced later.
Mamino was arrrested on first-degree murder charges on the day she was paroled from Logan Correctional Center on March 28, 2014, where she was doing six years on attempted murder charges in connection with attempting to drown her newborn daughter in a toilet.
Mamino was attending a family party when she went into labor on Nov. 15, 2008. A concerned family member called 911. The Columbia police officer who responded to the 911 call fished the baby, later named Victoria, out of the toilet. The officer saw the baby move and began resuscitation efforts.
Mamino, a former teacher’s aide who worked with children with autism at Franklin School in Belleville, was charged with the attempted murder of Victoria. She was found guilty but mentally ill in October 2009.
Victoria remained in the hospital for two weeks, but the Department of Children and Family Services returned the baby to Mamino for three months even though police continued their investigation. The child’s father has custody of the now 6-year-old girl.
During the Monroe County investigation, Columbia Police Detectives Karla Heine and Justin Barlow interviewed Mamino at the Belleville police station. During that interview, Assistant State’s Attorney Deb Phillips said Mamino told them she delivered a baby in September 2007 in Belleville.
Mamino told detectives she delivered into the toilet, but retrieved the baby boy, saw it take “one or two breaths” before she wrapped the baby in a towel and placed it in her basement.
Daniel Cuneo, a clinical psychologist, opined in a report that Mamino was depressed and suffered from a personality disorder. He found she was fit to stand trial, but was suffering from mental illness at the time of the crimes. Phillips and Mamino’s attorney John O’Gara agreed to Cueno’s findings.
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly declined to comment.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse will sentence Mamino on Aug. 19.