Last week 20-year-old Melissa Cathryn McMillen gave birth to a baby girl in her bathroom in a house in the 5300 block of North 39th Street. She left the baby in the toilet for 90 minutes and took a shower. According to the medical examiner the baby was alive when she was born. After she had showered, she wrapped the body of the baby and put it in a book bag.
Tuesday night Melissa’s boyfriend arrived home after being gone for a few days. He’d found the baby in the bag and called 911. He said that his girlfriend had given birth to a stillborn a few days ago.
Melissa McMillen has been charged with 2nd Degree Murder.
When I write about homicides that happen in Tacoma, I do my best to write about what happened and if possible, what sort of person the victim was. I try not to let my personal opinion influence things too much. In this case, I’m finding it difficult.
At this point it’s unknown what exactly was wrong with Melissa McMillen. She is either mentally ill, very stupid, or absolutely evil. Possibly all of the above. I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s this sort of senseless crime that made me take a break from writing up Tacoma homicides.
Still, I feel it’s important to give a voice to those who’ve been killed in Tacoma and I’ll continue to do so. Baby Girl McMillen died without even having a name. But she will not be forgotten.
– Jack Cameron
I don’t want to get into specifics, but the accused is somebody that friends have trusted and someone who loves children. This is very difficult to comprehend and everyone involved is very shaken.
Not that it can undo this tragedy, but please help spread the word that Washington (like all 50 states at present) has a safe haven law allowing mothers to leave an infant with an employee at a hospital, emergency room, or fire station within 3 days of birth. No questions will be asked and no names will be taken, unless offered.
Recently I had the privilege of seeing a Safehaven baby (abandoned at the hospital a few months ago) have her adoption finalized by her foster parents. She is a delightful child who has made an infertile couple gloriously happy! They took her sight unseen, knowing absolutely nothing about her background except that she had been abandoned. If only someone could have talked to Melissa McMillen about this option. If you suspect someone is hiding a pregnancy, tell her about the Safehaven law!