Bristol man charged with disposal of baby’s body in Harwinton reservoir

HARWINGTON --  Police have arrested a man in connection with a baby boy's body found in a bag at a Harwinton reservoir in March.

State police said they arrested Benjamin Edgerly of Bristol and charged him with disposal of a dead body, and conspiracy to commit/concealment of delivery of newborn.

On March 21, police said they received a call at approximately 10:16 a.m. on reports of a body found in Bristol Reservoir #4. That's located on Route 72 and Route 4 in Harwinton.

Police said workers with the Bristol Water Department found the deceased infant in a plastic bag.

The day following the discovery, Edgerly and the mother of baby came forward voluntarily and spoke with police. The 19-year-old mother was provided necessary medical care at a local hospital, according to police.

The pair provided police with DNA samples, their cell phones and written statements.

In the mother's statement she told police she was raped by another man in June and discovered she was pregnant in March.  A DNA test confirmed that man was not the baby's father.

She told detectives she gave birth to a baby boy in her bedroom, on March 13, at her grandparents Portland home.

"Upon giving birth I knew something was off," she said. "The baby's umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, he wasn't crying, his lips were blueish and his skin a slight purple. I panicked. I had done this completely alone."

She said she tried to clean the baby, wrapped him in a towel and went to sleep. The following morning, she told police she put the baby in a box and hid him in her grandparents basement.

"In the days following, I couldn't eat, sleep, think straight, I was having nightmares and just couldn't function," she wrote. "I knew I had to do something about the baby, I talked to Ben and he offered to help."

A few days later, she put the baby in a white plastic garbage bag, then into her book bag and the later into Edgerly's bag.

In his statement to police, Edgerly said, "I didn't know what to do with the baby. So I pulled over and tossed him into the water."

According to the warrant, the two engaged in text messages, "which conspired to conceal the birth of the infant and dispose of its body, so as to conceal their own identities."

The text messages in the warrant reveal Edgerly told the baby's mother to "wear gloves," when bagging up the baby.

According to the Medical Examiner's report, the baby was a stillborn.

The baby's DNA matched the mother but not Edgerly, according to the warrant.

Edgerly was being held on a $100,000 bond but released by a judge on a pledge to appear in court.

FOX61 stopped by Edgerly's address listed on the arrest warrant. A woman answered the door and said, "he does not want to talk to you, so go away."

State police have not indicated if any other arrests will be made.