By Matt Rivers, Mike Dougherty
PEMBERTON, N.J. (CBS) – A young South Jersey mother is in jail, charged with the burning death of her newborn baby Friday night.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mural Arts Unveils New Work, Teams Up With The Colored Conventions Project
Authorities say 22-year-old Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier of Pemberton Township, Burlington County doused her newborn baby with a flammable liquid then set the child on fire in the middle of a road.
It happened around 11 p.m. along Simontown Road. Police arrived and quickly extinguished the flames.
“It just puts life into perspective,” says Dave Joseph, who lives nearby.
Joseph saw the small fire from his window and went to investigate.
“We actually didn’t think it was a baby, we just thought it was a fire, somebody dumping everything down there, but when we found out what it was, it was just a nightmare.”
The infant was airlifted to St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia and died two hours later. Dorvilier was taken into custody at the scene.
“She was hiding,” Joseph said. “She was trying to defy what it was. I had her on the ground. I was holding her down because she tried to get away.”READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf To Unveil Legislation To Strengthen Protections Against Sexual Assault, Violence On Campus
She has been charged with one count of Murder and is being held on $500,000 bail.
Family friend Cameron Williams describes Dorvilier and her family as “loving” and says they have no idea what prompted the crime:
“They’re doing the best they can under the circumstances. There’s a lot of people praying for them. We’re praying for them, my family is praying for them.”
Details of the baby’s birth are unavailable at this time. An autopsy is expected to be performed in the near future.
Neighbors set up a small memorial Saturday night at the scene of the crime for the child they never knew.
The Burlington County Prosecutors office is now tasked with figuring out what happened and why.
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