A woman accused of setting fire to her newborn baby girl in the middle of a road has been charged with murder.
Burlington County prosecutors said Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, of Pemberton Township, New Jersey, was in custody on $500,000 bail. She tried to flee after starting the fire but was detained by residents, according to a witness.
Police came upon the horrific scene after receiving a call about a fire in the middle of a road in the township, about 30 miles east of Philadelphia. Officers found the baby in flames and put out the fire.
The child was reportedly alive and breathing at the time she was flown to a hospital in Philadelphia, said Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. But she died about two hours later.
Authorities believe the mother doused her baby with an accelerant then set her on fire, Mr Bewley said.
Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said details of the baby’s birth were still being investigated. He would not comment on whether the mother had a criminal record or if she had been involved with child welfare services.
Dave Joseph, 45, of Pemberton Township told The Burlington County Times he saw a young woman get out of her car and light something in the middle of Simontown Road. He said the woman told him she was burning dog waste.
He said the woman appeared calm and soon tried to flee the scene, but residents stopped her.
“It was just mind-boggling,” Mr Joseph said. “It was a nightmare even if you have a strong heart.”