June 06, 1997 : A teenaged mother gives birth and murders her baby at the prom

Introduction

Eighteen-year-old Melissa Drexler gives birth to a baby boy in the bathroom stall atan Aberdeen Township banquet hall in New Jersey during her high school prom. Maintenance workers called to clean up blood found in the stall discover a bag in the garbage with her dead baby inside. An autopsy later revealed that the baby had been born alive but had been strangled to death.

Drexler’s case drew national attention and outrage, especially since she returned to the dance floor after killing her newborn baby. It was also somewhat curious that she had managed to conceal her pregnancy from everyone she knew.

After arriving at the Lacey Township High School prom with her friends, Drexler immediately went to the women’s bathroom. With her unsuspecting friends outside the stall, she gave birth to her baby boy in about 20 or 30 minutes. She reportedly told her friend, “Go tell the boys I’ll be right out.” Apparently, Drexler cut the umbilical cord on the edge of a metal sanitary napkin box in the stall. Blood tests revealed that she had no trace of drugs or alcohol in her system.

Prosecutors in Monmouth County initially charged Drexler with murder, but she pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter on August 21, 1998. Telling the court that she was remorseful for her actions, on October 29 the teary-eyed girl was sentenced to 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole in three years. She was released on parole after 37 months on November 26, 2001.

Article Details:

June 06, 1997 : A teenaged mother gives birth and murders her baby at the prom

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    June 06, 1997 : A teenaged mother gives birth and murders her baby at the prom

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/a-teenaged-mother-gives-birth-and-murders-her-baby-at-the-prom

  • Access Date

    November 18, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks