A woman with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, who had struggled with meth addiction, has been charged in the death of her newborn daughter, whose tiny body was found in a North End garbage bin in early May.

A woman with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, who had struggled with meth addiction, has been charged in the death of her newborn daughter, whose tiny body was found in a North End garbage bin in early May.

Jeanene Rosa Moar, 31, of Winnipeg, was charged with manslaughter and concealing the body of a child, on Tuesday.

<p>FACEBOOK</p><p>Winnipeg Police Service child abuse investigators charged 31-year-old Jeanene Rosa Moar, of Winnipeg, with manslaughter and concealing the body of a child on Wednesday after her newborn baby girl was found dead in a North End garbage bin in early May.</p>

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Winnipeg Police Service child abuse investigators charged 31-year-old Jeanene Rosa Moar, of Winnipeg, with manslaughter and concealing the body of a child on Wednesday after her newborn baby girl was found dead in a North End garbage bin in early May.

Winnipeg police said they believe the infant was alive when she was put in the garbage in the lane between Boyd and Redwood avenues, west of Powers Street. Police had received a tip on May 3, the same day trash was picked up in the neighbourhood, and found the infant’s body.

At a news conference Wednesday, spokesman Const. Claude Chancy said the police service decided to identify the victim as "Baby Moar" to "acknowledge that (she) was a person."

Chancy would not reveal whether the newborn had been assaulted, how long she had lived or how long she had been in the garbage bin.

Police said the infant had been born at a home in Garden City.

<p>Police have determined the baby was born in a residence in the Garden City neighbourhood before being put into the garbage bin in a back alley in the 400 block of Boyd Avenue on May 3. Officers found the baby there after receiving a tip.</p>

Police have determined the baby was born in a residence in the Garden City neighbourhood before being put into the garbage bin in a back alley in the 400 block of Boyd Avenue on May 3. Officers found the baby there after receiving a tip.

"This is somebody that was born and discarded and has no chance of living a fulfilling life," Chancy said. "It is extremely traumatic for the family, it’s extremely traumatic for the community at large. It is traumatic to the first responders."

Moar is the only person who has been charged; she remains in custody.

Police said she was arrested at a home close to where the baby was found. She was admitted to hospital as a precaution, but police wouldn’t elaborate on her medical issues.

Investigators in the child-abuse unit had arrested Moar on May 10 and she was held in custody, Chancy said. On Tuesday, after officers secured a warrant, they rearrested Moar at the Women’s Correctional Institute in Headingley.

Chancy said there was a gap between the arrest and the charge being laid due to forensic and medical analysis, and consultation with Crown prosecutors.

Moar has a criminal record that includes convictions for theft and not complying with court orders.

In 2018, she was sentenced to one month in jail and was prohibited from driving for one year after admitting to stealing a car that had been left running. At the time of her arrest, Moar was sitting in the car and was drinking alcohol she had just stolen from a Liquor Mart. She was intoxicated, court records show.

<p>RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Jackeline Black, right, who lives in the area, is emotional about the news that Winnipeg Police Service found a newborn infant in a garbage bin in the 400 block of Boyd Avenue. </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jackeline Black, right, who lives in the area, is emotional about the news that Winnipeg Police Service found a newborn infant in a garbage bin in the 400 block of Boyd Avenue.

Her sentencing hearing was told Moar had been diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, was homeless and had struggled with addictions to alcohol and methamphetamine.

On Wednesday, Moar’s great-aunt and godmother, who declined to give her name, said Moar has at least one child, a boy, but that she has not seen or spoken to her in a long time.

She was heartbroken after learning about the allegations.

"This is really going to give me a heart attack," the great-aunt said. "This is really painful."

Moar was raised by a grandmother in Teulon, she said.

The charges were announced as Moar’s family mourns her sister, Danielle, who died earlier this week, according to an aunt and Facebook posts by family members.

The family has suffered through tragedy in the past, said Moar’s great-aunt.

<p>ERIK PINDERA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Thunderbirdz sing and drum following vigil in Boyd Avenue alley for an unnamed baby that was found dead in a garbage bin on May 3, 2022.</p>

ERIK PINDERA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thunderbirdz sing and drum following vigil in Boyd Avenue alley for an unnamed baby that was found dead in a garbage bin on May 3, 2022.

She said Moar is a cousin of Eishia Hudson, 16, who was fatally shot by Winnipeg police in April 2020, as officers responded to a robbery at a Liquor Mart.

Another woman who knows Moar told the Free Press she was horrified by the case.

"I feel sick. I feel sick that anybody would do that to their baby," said the woman, who asked not to be named.

She said Moar is the oldest of four daughters.

"They’re probably in shock over this," the woman said of the accused’s family. "It’s just an awful thing."

After hearing about the baby’s death, North End resident Elizabeth Pitsor, 60, placed tobacco in an orange cloth and headed toward the lane behind Boyd Avenue.

"I broke out in tears: the loss of that innocent life that never had a chance," Pitsor told the Free Press.

<p> ERIK PINDERA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>A child places a flower into the fence at the vigil in the alley behind Boyd Avenue Wednesday.</p>

ERIK PINDERA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A child places a flower into the fence at the vigil in the alley behind Boyd Avenue Wednesday.

She asked people if they knew where the baby had been found.

Near the corner of Boyd and Powers, resident Annie Spence left her yard to join her and took her to the spot.

They placed the offering near a fence post behind the home of Jackeline Black, 33, who lives with her husband and six children.

Black said the police had combed through their yard and the lane on May 3 and interviewed her and her husband.

A family member had heard police say they had found something wrapped in a baby blanket.

"Was she crying? Was she cold?" a distraught Black asked. "She could’ve knocked on my door. I would’ve gladly taken her baby."

She said her husband hadn’t taken the trash all the way to the bin that morning, as the dumpsters were full. He’d wished he had because he might have found the child before she died.

Police told the family they couldn’t reveal what they had found. The next day, her garbage bin was removed.

"Knock on a door, go to a church, drop (the infant) off at corner store — anywhere," said Black’s 63-year-old mother, Jackie, full of grief and anger.

Black and her mother, upset about violence in the neighbourhood, said this tragedy is the final straw and they plan to move.

"There’s gunshots, everything, every night. I’m not staying in this area," Jackie said.

In the afternoon, they cleared the area of trash to prepare for a vigil Wednesday evening.

At 7 p.m., more than three dozen community members filled the lane. They placed candles on the ground where the garbage bins had been, and lit them.

White, pink and purple flowers were inserted through the fence, and stuffed plush toys surrounded a pink construction paper sign that read "Rest in peace Baby Moar."

Long Plain First Nation elder Clair Francis sprinkled tobacco over the ground before he led a healing ceremony of prayer, song and drumming as sage burned. He asked the mourners to pray for the infant and her mother.

"Cry for that little one," he said.

— with files from Dean Pritchard, Chris Kitching and Kevin Rollason

erik.pindera@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Reporter

Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.