Luzerne Co. D.A. Opens Investigation into Prison Births

The Luzerne County district attorney’s office is now investigating the circumstances surrounding the birth of twins at the prison.

The infants were born last last month, but after they were taken to the hospital, one of them died.

Luzerne County’s interim manager wants to know why he found out about it just last Friday through a phone call from a radio talk show host.

Just one carnation sits atop the freshly-covered grave of little Navaeh Gonzalez. The baby girl died just hours after she was born on January 27 at the Luzerne County prison.

Police had jailed the 23-year-old woman from Freeland on a theft warrant. Her mother said she told nurses she was going into labor and then gave birth to twins inside the prison.

“There was no doctor present, I will tell you that much, and the conditions she had to go were horrendous. I am just glad they are looking into it and something will be done,” said Debra Gonzalez.

The twins were taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital where one of them died.

Interim county manager Tom Pribula said the warden should have notified him immediately about the birth and the death. Instead, Pribula said, he found out two weeks later through a phone call from radio talk show host Steve Corbett. Pribula called the way he found out about the situation “extremely disturbing.”

In a statement to Newswatch 16, the Luzerne County district attorney’s office confirmed it has opened an investigation into the births at the prison.

Baby Naveah was buried at St. Mary`s Cemetery in Hanover Township. The family said her surviving twin is in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

“I don`t condone my daughter’s actions, but no woman should be treated the way she was when she went up there,” added Gonzalez. She added her daughter is now out of jail and will be meeting with her attorneys.

Luzerne County’s interim manager said this is the first documented case of a woman giving birth at the Luzerne County jail.

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