A 21-year-old South Carolina woman was arrested after she gave birth to a baby in her car and then did not get medical attention for the newborn, police say. The baby was found dead in her car several hours after the woman gave birth, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office said August 6 in a press release.
Brennan Hailey Geller, of Lexington, South Carolina, was charged with murder/homicide by child abuse, online jail records show. Geller was arrested on Monday, three days after police say she gave birth to the child, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in the press release.
Here’s what you need to know about Brennan Geller and the murder case:
1. Geller Placed the Newborn in a Trash Bag & Drove Home With the Baby on the Floorboard of Her Car, the Lexington Sheriff’s Department Says
Brennan Geller gave birth to the child in her car at some point Friday night, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. Police have not said where Geller gave birth and have not given an exact time. According to police, Geller did not seek medical attention for the newborn after giving birth, which led to the baby’s death.
Geller “placed the newborn in a trash bag and drove home with the baby in the floorboard,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by Lexington County Sheriff’s detectives.
No other details about the birth have been made public.
2. Police Say They Found Out About the ‘Tragic Case’ After Geller Was Treated for Blood Loss at a Local Hospital & the Sheriff Says Geller Never Told Hospital Staff About the Baby
Brennan Hailey Geller went to a local hospital Saturday morning for medical care for herself, which is when police said they learned about the baby’s death. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives were then able to obtain a warrant charging Geller with murder on Monday.
“We became aware of this tragic case after Geller was treated at the hospital Saturday morning for blood loss,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in a statement. “The medical team caring for Geller told investigators she never told them the baby was in her car.”
Koon said the baby’s body was not found until several hours after Geller went to the hospital.
3. Geller Is a Lexington Native Who Graduated From River Bluff High School in 2015
Geller, born March 10, 1997, is a Lexington, South Carolina, native, according to her Facebook page. Her profile picture on her Facebook page shows her holding a young child, but is not clear how she is related to the boy.
Geller graduated from River Bluff High School in 2015, according to her Facebook profile. Geller does not have a previous criminal record in South Carolina, online records show.
Geller’s mother, Julie Brennan Geller, works in the health care field, according to her Linkedin profile. Her father, Mike Geller, died in 2008.
4. She Works as a Server at an Italian Restaurant & at a Lexington Gym
Geller works at MUV Fitness in Lexington, South Carolina, according to her Facebook profile. It is not clear what she does there. She also works as a server at Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Lexington, according to her Facebook page.
Geller’s Facebook page and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department page were flooded with angry comments from community members and others who read the news about her arrest online.
“And to think i was friends with her… I didn’t even know she was pregnant,” one person, who went to school with Geller, wrote on the sheriff’s department page. Another wrote, “Wait, did she go to River Bluff?! This is absolutely disgusting! She deserves life! Poor baby. There are parents out there that WANT to be parents!!”
Another wrote, “I didn’t even know she was like this or even pregnant. Jesus . I can’t believe this . I’m like shook to the core. …Known her since grade school and never thought in a million years she would do this . I feel so horrible for the baby and the dad . I wonder if he even knows …” She said it appears Geller had been keeping her pregnancy secret from her friends. Police have not said if Geller told anyone about the pregnancy prior to giving birth, or if she knew she was pregnant.
Many others posted about how there are “Safe Haven” laws that allow for newborn babies to be dropped off anonymously at places like firehouses, churches and hospitals, where proper care can be provided, without criminal charges being filed. According to South Carolina’s “Safe Haven” law, “You can leave your baby, up to 30 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station or any worship center in South Carolina.”
5. Geller Is Being Held at the Lexington County Detention Center Awaiting a Bond Hearing & Faces 20 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted of the Murder Charge
Geller is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center without bail pending a bond hearing, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said in its press release. It is not clear when that hearing will be held.
If convicted of the charge of murder/homicide by child abuse, Geller could be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, according to South Carolina law.
It is not clear if Geller has hired an attorney and she and her family could not be reached for comment by Heavy.