A drug testing expert today testified that he could not confirm the presence of abortion medications in the blood of Purvi Patel.
The 33 year old Granger woman is on trial for child neglect because the body of her newborn baby was found in a commercial dumpster in July of 2013.
The development was potentially problematic for the prosecution since investigators who combed through trash bags were not able to find any envelopes or product packaging to back up their contention that Patel bought an abortion pill pack online for $72 and consumed its contents.
Dr. Prentice Jones, Jr. with the South Bend Medical Foundation testified that he checked with colleagues from across the country including the Mayo Clinic and found absolutely no protocol or accepted method for testing for abortion drugs.
The doctor then tried to develop his own method, but was not successful.
The prosecution contends there was nothing natural about Patel’s childbirth—that she forced the delivery of a viable late term child and let it die.
Without further evidence, jurors are left to rely on text messages Patel allegedly sent a friend saying she had bought abortion medications online, and apparently consumed them before texting, “these pills taste like ….”
Another medical expert took the witness stand today and used the weight of Patel’s placenta (231) grams to estimate the length of gestation at 26 to 27 weeks, putting the child in the late second or early third trimester.
Jurors also saw a taped interview Patel gave police from her hospital bed at 3:32 a.m. on July 14th, the day after she delivered. When warned that she wasn’t under arrest and didn’t have to talk, Patel replied that she had nothing to hide and wanted to clear things up.
The taped statement took place before police had their hands on Patel’s phone and the text messages it contained, so the investigator didn’t know about the possibility of abortion drugs being involved.
In the interview, Patel said that only she and a close friend knew about the pregnancy—that even her parents were in the dark.
Statements made in court indicate that the father of the child was a married co-worker at the Patel family business—Moe’s restaurant in Mishawaka.