Arya Singh is behind bars for the death of her newborn baby girl, known as “Baby June,” whose body was found off the Florida coast.
On the afternoon of June 1, 2018, an off-duty firefighter was aboard a charter boat when he noticed the nude body of a baby floating facedown about 75 to 100 feet off the Boynton Beach Inlet.
Five months later, the Palm Beach County medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, as an autopsy revealed that she had been suffocated.
The baby, whom authorities named Baby June because it was the month she was found, appeared to have been at a healthy weight when she was born, which was sometime between May 25 and May 28, 2018.
There were no signs of abuse.
Before she was found, Baby June had been in the water for at least six to eight hours. A drift study showed she more than likely floated northward from Broward County.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Strivelli stated that it’s possible she came off a boat carrying immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, or elsewhere, as “the area was a frequent landing spot.”
The Sun-Sentinel reported that detectives believe that she may have been born in a medical facility because she had a needle prick on her foot and her umbilical cord had been cut.
Police officials rummaged through countless birth records at hospitals in Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties, but they didn’t find anything on Baby June’s mother.
Baby June’s DNA was also submitted to the genealogical database for possible relatives, but they did not find a match.
Investigators did, however, believe they discovered Baby June’s ethnic background. They stated that she was half Central Asian and half
African, which indicated that her parents were from the Caribbean.
Strivelli said, “Most often, a person with this 50-50 split would be found in areas like Barbados, Trinidad, or Jamaica, or from those areas originally.”
In a news conference, investigators stated that they were “desperate” to receive information from the public.
They added that they needed to identify the parents to get to the bottom of what happened to Baby June, and how her body ended up in the Boynton Beach Inlet.
Police officials later announced that Baby June would not have a burial until she was identified. Her body was kept at the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Four years later, in August 2022, Baby June’s father was identified through the new pilot program, and her mother, 29-year-old Arya Singh, was identified from a DNA sample that was found in a discarded coffee cup.
When detectives spoke to Baby June’s father, he claimed that Singh told him that she was pregnant, but she said she “had taken care of it.”
He went on to say that when he later brought up the pregnancy, she didn’t want to talk about it.
PBSO detective Brittany Christoffel said, “We decided to just build this case against the mother without notifying her at all.”
In December 2022, Singh was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder. She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, where she was held without bond.
During an interrogation, Singh claimed that she was unaware she was pregnant until she gave birth to Baby June in a bathroom inside a hotel room.
She went on to say that the following day, she dumped Baby June’s body in the Boynton Beach Inlet, and she couldn’t tell if the baby was alive or dead.
The medical examiner asserted that Baby June died of asphyxiation before her body was put in the water.
When detectives searched Singh’s cellphone, they discovered that she had searched “Boynton Beach Inlet” over 500 times on Google before and after her baby’s body was found.
An investigation revealed that at 8:41 a.m. on May 30, 2018, Singh searched “cheap hotels near me,” and hotels in Boca Raton, Delray Beach,and Boynton Beach were included in the search.
According to GPS coordinates, Singh was at the lifeguard stand on North Ocean Boulevard in Ocean Ridge later that night.
The following day, Singh searched “Boynton Beach News Today” 27 times, and sometime later, she searched “Palm Beach County News” 34 times.
On Jan. 17, 2023, Singh pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. And two days later, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges, changing it to second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.
In a statement, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said, “Ms. Singh went to a hotel room alone and gave birth to a child. As a result of her actions or inactions, the baby died.”
“Ms. Singh never called 911; she never sought medical treatment; she never asked for help for her child; and she never dropped the baby off at a fire station.”
“As the child’s mother, under the circumstances she placed herself in, she was the only person who could have saved that child’s life. Instead, she disposed of her baby in the Boynton Inlet, in the hopes no one would know what she had done. There must be a consequence for that.”
Singh pleaded guilty in August 2023 to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter. That same month, she was sentenced to 14 years in prison—she received credit for the 231 days she was incarcerated.
When she is released, Singh will be on probation for 10 years.