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JBER Army Soldier Indicted after Newborn Baby Found Dead in Eagle River

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:10:28 AM AKST   Updated On: Oct 25 2013 07:29:00 PM AKDT

An Army soldier and the mother of a newborn baby girl found dead October 15 in Turner Park in Eagle River has been indicted by a Grand Jury on a single count of murder in the second degree.

24-year-old Ashley Ard, of Portsmouth, Virginia, is accused of leaving her newborn, wrapped in a towel, and under a bush. Ard is a Specialist in the U.S. Army and reported to U.S. Army Alaska in late September.

On Friday evening, police arrested her after an arrest warrant for $250,000 was issued.

Anchorage police say Ard gave birth to the baby at her home in Eagle River and left her home before 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 15. Around 9:30 a.m., police received a report from a citizen finding a baby not breathing at Turner Park. Later that afternoon, medics with the Anchorage Fire Department responded to a woman with “possible injuries consistent to those of someone who might have given birth.” Police detectives responded and interviewed the woman who was identified as Ard.

Police say an autopsy was performed on the newborn, but autopsy results were still pending as of Friday evening.

In the Grand Jury indictment, Ard is alleged to have “knowingly engaged in conduct that resulted in the death of another person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

“U.S. Army Alaska is cooperating fully with the Anchorage Police Department, who is the lead agency in the investigation,” said U.S. Army Alaska officials in a brief news release.

On Tuesday, October 29, she is expected to be arraigned in Anchorage Superior Court.

“If convicted of this charge at trial, Ard faces a potential sentence of 10 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000,” said Jennifer Castro, APD spokesperson.

The Anchorage Police Department will hold a news conference Saturday afternoon, October 26 at APD headquarters.