Mother of dead newborn pleads guilty

The mother of a newborn girl found dead in Ocean Shores April 5 pleaded guilty late last week to “first-degree abandonment of a dependent person.”

Brittany N. Taylor, 21, of Humptulips, entered her plea in Grays Harbor Superior Court. The charge means Taylor “recklessly abandoned” her daughter, and as a result, the girl suffered great bodily harm. Taylor faces up to 10 years in prison.

The baby’s father Patrick Parnel, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and faces a possible life sentence if convicted. He’s held in Grays Harbor County Jail with $1 million bail.

According to court documents, Taylor gave birth in an Ocean Shores motel room, with Parnel assisting her, in an effort to keep her pregnancy secret.

The parents told police Parnel accidentally dropped the baby in the toilet as he helped with the birth. They said they thought the girl was dead but didn’t try to revive her.

Taylor allegedly told Parnel to dispose of the body while she waited in their room. An autopsy showed the infant’s cause of death was blunt-force injury, resulting in skull fractures and brain injuries.

Parnel allegedly told police he struck his daughter with an object from his car after she started crying when he tried to leave her in the brush on April 4. She was discovered by a woman walking her dog the next morning.

Their daughter never had a name. In court, she’s referred to as “Infant Doe.”