Abilene newborn killed one year ago, parents awaiting trials


ABILENE, Texas - It was one year ago Wednesday that Abilene residents were shocked by the news that a newborn girl was killed in a southside home.

On Jan. 18, 2016, investigators with the Abilene Police Department searched a house on South 25 th street after receiving a report from Hendrick Medical Center staff that a teenager who was seen for bleeding may have just had a baby.

Police found the baby girl dead inside the house and with the help of a plumber, found placenta material stuck in a sewage drain.

Abilene police made an arrest on the same day in connection with the baby's death. Damian Scott Cate was taken into custody for murder and tampering with evidence.

(STORY -} Exclusive interview with Damian Scott Cate )

The next day, Cate's girlfriend and the baby's mother, Amber Craker, was also arrested for murder and tampering with evidence.

We learned through court records that prior to the investigation, Craker had visited the hospital for bleeding, and doctors determined she had just given birth. She didn't have an infant with her, so hospital officials called police.

Police said Craker and Cate caused obvious injuries to their newborn baby, and that Craker admitted to cleaning up the scene after the baby's death. Craker's arrest report states she admitted to hiding the deceased baby in a trash can.

In February, the autopsy report for the newborn was released, and we learned that Craker's daughter sustained cuts across the carotid artery and left jugular vein. It also said she was stabbed in the back and her lungs were collapsed.

In the months following their arrests, Craker and Cate underwent competency evaluations to see if they were fit to stand trial. Craker was also moved to a mental health facility for several months in May to receive further psychiatric evaluation. She was returned to the Taylor County Jail on Aug. 2.

Both were deemed competent to stand trial.

Craker's trial is tentatively set for March 13; Cate's is set for April 10.

Craker is still being held in the Taylor County Jail on bonds totaling $300,000. Cate was released from jail in May on reduced bond of $50,000.

The newborn baby was buried in February. Abilene police and emergency responders learned that the baby's family didn't have enough money to afford a funeral, so they coordinated funds and secured donations for the service.

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