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OFFICIALS: East Texas woman arrested after newborn found dead under mop bucket in backyard

The investigation is ongoing.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — An East Texas woman is behind bars after officials say a deceased infant was found in the backyard of a home.

According to the Smith County judicial records, Jazzlyn Nukenya Cooper-Holmes, 23, of Longview, was taken into custody on Saturday, March 18, for abuse of a corpse without legal authority. She was booked into the Smith County Jail on $1 million bond. The arrest warrant was issued by 475th District Court Judge Traylor Heaton.

The Smith County Sheriff's Office says around 7:20 p.m., on Wednesday, March 15, deputies responded to a home on the 18000 block of US Highway 69 North, near Tyler, on reports of a newborn baby being found dead at the location. 

When officials arrived on scene, they say they were directed to the back yard where they found an overturned mop bucket covering the deceased infant who was wrapped in a towel. At that time, deputies secured the area and called for assistance from the investigation and crime scene units.

The SCSO says the infant's mother, identified as Cooper-Holmes, admitted to having the child on Sunday, March 12, wrapping the infant in a brown towel, placing the infant in a red bucket and putting the bucket outside behind the residence.

Smith County Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Andy Dunklin ordered the child's body be sent for autopsy. 

The investigation is ongoing.

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