PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A New Jersey woman who authorities say put her newborn baby in the middle of a road and set the child on fire was charged Saturday with murder.
Burlington County prosecutors said Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, of Pemberton Township was jailed on $500,000 bail. It wasn't known if she has retained a lawyer.
Police responded to a Friday night call about a fire in the middle of a residential road in the township, about 30 miles east of Philadelphia. Officers found the baby in flames and put out the fire.
The child reportedly was alive and breathing at the time she was flown to a hospital in Philadelphia, said Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office. She died about two hours later, he said in a news release. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Authorities believe the mother doused her baby with an accelerant then set her on fire, Bewley said. They do not have a motive. The woman was taken into custody Friday night.
Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said details of the baby's birth were still being investigated. The baby's age has not been disclosed. Bernardi would not comment on whether the mother has a criminal record or if she has been involved with child welfare officials.
Dave Joseph, 45, of Pemberton Township told The Burlington County Times that he saw a young woman get out of her car and light something on fire in the middle of Simontown Road. He said the woman told him she was burning dog waste.
Joseph said the woman appeared calm and soon tried to flee the scene, but residents stopped her.
"It was just mind-boggling," Joseph said. "It was a nightmare even if you have a strong heart."