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Calgary woman was ‘horrified’ with herself for dumping babies in trash, court told

Meredith Borowiec appears in court in Calgary on March 26, 2013, in this court artist’s sketch.

JANICE FLETCHER/THE CANADIAN PRESS

After each of three secret home deliveries, a court heard on Monday, Meredith Borowiec would wrap her newborns in a towel, place them in the bathroom waste bin, stuff the bag in the kitchen trash and seal it before "taking out the garbage" to a dumpster at her Calgary townhouse.

She didn't look to check the gender of the first two children, one born in 2008, another in 2009, but she did hear the first infant mew "like a kitten" and the second emit a "tiny cry" before she turned her back on each.

During a videotaped interview with a female police detective in November, 2011, that was played in a Calgary courtroom on Monday, Ms. Borowiec said she swaddled the babies in towels "to protect" them and that she was "hoping somebody would help them out." But deep down, she knew they were doomed.

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"I was horrified with myself," Ms. Borowiec said.

The bodies of those infants have never been found. Ms. Borowiec is on trial charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

The third child, a boy born in October, 2010, was rescued from the dumpster by the infant's father, who didn't know his girlfriend was pregnant, when passersby heard crying, and, according to police, has been placed in a "healthy home."

Ms. Borowiec, now 31, has been in custody since her arrest in 2011, faces a second trial for attempted murder set for the fall.

She sat in the prisoner's box sobbing as she watched the lengthy videotape. Her lawyers want all videotaped interactions with police ruled inadmissible. They have not yet made their arguments. The trial, now in its third week and scheduled for six, is being heard by a judge alone.

The court has been told the story of a young woman from a broken home, who graduated high school in Toronto, completed a year of university, and hopped from job to job in Calgary, working variously at a book shop, liquor store and in a pub.

She seems to have one constant in her life – her boyfriend, Ian Turnbull, the father of the children – but no real relationship with her parents, and no close friends.

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During the interview, Detective Karla Malsam-Dudar said witnesses had told police Ms. Borowiec had appeared pregnant before. She said they noted a rapidly expanding waistline, her denials about pregnancy – uterine cysts that need draining every once in a while blamed for a growing belly – followed by a brief absence from work and return with a deflated tummy and no baby.

In turn, Ms. Borowiec describes herself as "scared" and a "terrible person" who wasn't herself after each birth.

"It was like something took over me. It sounds dumb. I wasn't in control," she said.

She also makes three phone calls and writes letters to her boyfriend and her parents.

"The Meredith you know is not a vicious creature," she wrote to Mr. Turnbull. "I don't know what came over me."

Det. Malsam-Dudar reassures her that she has only "made mistakes."

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"You're not a monster," she said.

The officer also asks, during that November, 2011, interview, whether Ms. Borowiec is once again pregnant. Ms. Borowiec denies it.

In July, 2012, while in custody, Ms. Borowiec gave birth to another boy. She gave him up.

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About the Author
Dawn Walton

Dawn Walton has been based in Calgary for The Globe and Mail since 2000. Before leaving Toronto to head West, she won a National Newspaper Award and was twice nominated for the Michener Award for her work with the Report on Business. More

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