Samantha Vivier, 22, is accused of tossing her newborn baby in the trash after giving birth at the Amazon facility where she worked. She told police in Phoenix, Arizona, that she panicked because she had not known she was pregnant.
Vivier was arrested and faces a charge of unlawful disposal of human remains. She was released without bail. Prosecutors told the judge it appeared the baby had been stillborn.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. A Janitor Found the Baby’s Body After Noticing the Bathroom Trash Can Was Significantly Heavier Than Normal
Samantha Vivier gave birth on January 16, 2019, at the Amazon shipping warehouse where she worked. According to the probable cause affidavit submitted to Maryvale Justice Court, janitors were asked to clean a women’s restroom on the western side of the building around 3:30 p.m.
There was blood and vomit on the floor. The janitorial team cleaned the restroom and it was reopened for employees to use.
A few hours later, around 8 p.m., a janitor returned to the restroom to change the bags in the trash cans. The worker told police that she realized the bag was much heavier than normal. She looked inside and saw another plastic bag, which was wrapped around what looked to be an infant’s head.
The janitor called the on-site medical team. A team member removed the plastic and saw that the baby “was cold to the touch and unresponsive.” Phoenix police and emergency responders were called. The baby was pronounced dead at 8:36 p.m. First responders said the baby appeared to have been born at full-term.
2. A Witness Told Police That Samantha Vivier Told Him She Had Been in the Bathroom For Two Hours, Was Sick & Needed New Pants
Samantha Vivier spent more than two hours in the bathroom after lunch, according to one of her co-workers. The witness, who was not named in the affidavit, told police that Vivier approached him around 2:20 p.m. that day. She told him she had been sick in the bathroom.
Vivier told her co-worker that she had been in the bathroom for more than two hours and that no one should use it. She also told him she needed new pants.
Vivier called someone to pick her up from work. She left the building around 3:30 p.m., the same time that the janitorial team first went in to clean the vomit and blood from the floor.
3. Samantha Vivier Confirmed to Investigators That She Had Delivered a Baby During Her Shift But Said She Had Not Been Aware She Was Pregnant
Officer Ryan Petker, who filed the probable cause statement, wrote that investigators first called Samantha Vivier. She admitted over the phone that she had given birth. She gave them her address, and emergency responders went to her house to administer medical care.
Vivier explained to investigators at her home that she had been clocked out for lunch and went to the bathroom. She was bleeding heavily but says she did not understand why. She delivered a baby but said the child was not moving or breathing.
Vivier told police she stayed in the bathroom stall for a long time. Eventually, a co-worker handed her paper towels and a plastic bag to try and clean up the blood that had spread to the floor. Vivier put the baby in the plastc bag and put it in the trash can under the counter. She asked the manager for new pants but went home after none were provided. Vivier called a friend to pick her up from Amazon; Vivier confided in her friend that she thought she had suffered a miscarriage but did not explain further during that car ride.
Officers interviewed Vivier again on January 22 at police headquarters. She told investigators that she had not known she was pregnant. She explained that while she had gained about 15 pounds, she had never felt the baby kick or move inside her. Vivier had also not visited a doctor within the past year.
According to the affidavit, Vivier admitted to putting the baby into the trash can “in order to hide the baby from being discovered and to hide the birth from the father of the baby. Samantha told investigators that she panicked after giving birth and was confident that the baby was deceased when she delivered the baby.” She also admitted that she did not try to help the baby breath or neither had she called for help.
After Vivier’s arrest, Amazon released a short statement that read, “This is a terribly sad and tragic incident and we’re providing on-site counseling support as needed as the safety and wellness of our team continues to be our top priority.”
4. Vivier Faces a Felony Charge For ‘Unlawful Disposal of Human Remains’ & Was Released Without Bail
Samantha Vivier faces one count of “unlawful disposal of human remains.” Under Arizona law, “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly move a dead human body or parts of a human body with the intent to abandon or conceal the dead human body or parts.” The charge is a Class 5 felony.
Vivier faced a judge on January 22. The prosecutor told the judge that investigators believe the baby had been born deceased, according to KPHO-TV, and that they do not believe Vivier hurt the baby. The medical examiner will make a final conclusion about whether the baby was stillborn. Vivier was released without bail.
Samantha Vivier does not have a serious criminal history. She has two former cases listed on the Maricopa County Justice Courts website. In August 2018, she pleaded guilty to not having up-to-date vehicle registration. And in 2016, she pleaded guilty to “Taking wildlife without a valid license.”
5. Samantha Vivier is an Arizona Native & Has Posted Often on Facebook About Dogs
Samantha Viver lists her hometown as Rainbow Valley, Arizona. According to her Facebook page (which has since been deactivated), she attended Estrella Foothills High School.
In 2014, Vivier moved to Manhattan, Kansas. She was photographed on January 22 outside of court wearing a Kansas State University sweatshirt, suggesting that she was a student there. She currently lives in Buckeye, Arizona.
Vivier clearly loves dogs, based on recent Facebook posts. In September 2014, she urged people to “STOP ABANDONING YOUR PETS. there’s no such thing as ‘no other option.'” Around the same time, Vivier was also trying to find a new home for a dog she had gotten from the Arizona Humane Society.