A Somoan woman who came to the United States last fall to become a nun admitted to killing her newborn son after secretly giving birth at a Catholic convent in Northeast Washington.
On Oct. 10, 2013, a week after she entered a program to become a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Amoa asked to be excused, went to her room and gave birth to a boy. She named the child Joseph.
Afraid that members of the convent would hear the baby cry and learn of her pregnancy, Amoa admitted that she placed a wool garment over her baby’s nose and mouth and applied pressure for two or three minutes.
Amoa cleaned the room in what authorities determined was an attempt to hide the birth of the child.
The next day, she showed the child to a nun but denied killing the boy.
Amoa contacted one of the Sisters and took her to her room, where she showed her the dead child.
The baby was taken to a hospital in a black luggage bag, and police began their investigation.
The D.C. medical examiner office determined that the cause of death was asphyxia.
There was evidence in the lungs that the fully developed, full-term baby had cried and had been alive before being asphyxiated. Additionally, there was bruising and scratches to the infant’s nostrils.