Ocean Shores baby killed, parents under arrest

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. —

Twenty-one-year-old Brittany Taylor and 21-year-old Patrick Parnel are in the Grays Harbor county jail Monday night, accused of killing their newborn girl in an Ocean Shores motel room then dumping her body in nearby woods.

According to court documents, the couple went to the Oasis Motel in Ocean Shores and Taylor delivered the baby inside the room on April 4. Taylor told detectives she delivered the baby in the toilet and Parnel helped with the delivery wearing latex gloves and using scissors to cut the umbilical cord. Patrick Parnel allegedly told officers he dropped the baby girl in the toilet during the birth.

Taylor told investigators she believed the baby was dead because it did not appear to be moving or breathing. Taylor allegedly told Parnel to get rid of the baby so he put it in a garbage can and dumped her body in a wooded lot nearby.

Prosecutors told KIRO 7 that the investigation paints a much different picture. An autopsy reveals the baby girl was alive at the time of her birth and for some time afterwards. The infant suffered multiple skull fractures.

Ocean Shores Police Chief Mike Styner told KIRO 7 "the child was struck in the head and suffered a trauma to the head that caused an injury that caused the baby to die."

In court Monday afternoon, Parnel's father, Patrick Parnel Sr., told the judge he was shocked by the allegations.

"He wasn't raised that way," Parnel Sr. said. "He is a good kid. I don't know what happened."

KIRO 7 South Sound reporter Richard Thompson questioned Taylor and Parnel as they were escorted to court.

When Thompson asked "What happened to the baby?" Parnel replied, "I'll get to you guys later."

When Taylor was asked why they had not taken the baby to the hospital, she replied, "You don't know what you are talking about."

A judge found probable cause to hold Parnel and Taylor on suspicion of first-degree assault and manslaughter. They were held on $250,000 bail.

Court documents indicated after the baby was killed and dumped in the woods and the couple spent the night at the motel. The next day they allegedly smoked marijuana and walked on the beach before visiting a liquor store and heading home to Humptulips, outside of Hoquiam.

Taylor's grandfather, Wayne Plemmons, said the situation is heartbreaking.

"The family is totally torn apart," he said.

Follow Richard Thompson on twitter at @RichardKIRO.