DNA confirms mother of baby found dead inside a suitcase - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

DNA confirms mother of baby found dead inside a suitcase

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

CANTON, MS (WLBT) - The Flora woman charged with murdering her newborn posted $35,000 bond Thursday morning after facing a Madison County Justice Court judge.

Shelia Ealey, 41, is accused of wrapping her baby boy in bags and blankets, then leaving him, still alive, in a suitcase behind a Flora church last week.

DNA confirms Ealey is the mother of that child.

Ealey's friends and family are standing behind her.

They looked on during Ealey's first court appearance Thursday, but declined to comment.

"These are good people from this area, it's a very sad incident," said John Colette, Ealey's attorney.

Ealey's pastor comforted the mother of five while she stood, shackled, before a judge.

Ealey was a member of Smith Chapel Missionary Baptist in Flora. It's the same church where the newborn was found.

"We have been advised we have nothing further to say," said Rev. Charles Simmons, when asked for further information.

As a condition of Ealey's bond, she must undergo a mental evaluation.

"She has no prior convictions, never been in trouble in her life, lifelong resident, tremendous family support," said Colette.

DNA tests will determine if Ealey is indeed the newborn's mother, and officials are awaiting more details on the autopsy results.

"Everything is allegations at this point," said Colette.

Madison County prosecutor Allen Phillips declined to speak on camera, but said Ealey was released from the hospital Wednesday after complications related to childbirth.

Meanwhile, Ealey's pastor said he and other friends and family members are praying for her.

When the investigation is complete, the case will be handed over to a Madison County grand jury.

Madison County officials said Ealey is not married. They would not release any information on the father, but said charges would likely not be filed against him.

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