Homeless daughter of MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley told cops she was trying to ‘save herself first’ when she abandoned newborn baby in freezing woods
- Alexandra Eckersley, 26, was arrested on Monday after she allegedly gave birth to her baby boy in a freezing tent
- She is the adopted daughter of MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley
- Eckersley allegedly misled police for 73 minutes, telling them the baby was born near the West Side Ice Arena, before they finally arrived at the tent
- When asked why she didn’t bring her baby to the bridge to meet with police after making the 911 call, she said she had to ‘save herself first’
The homeless daughter of a MBL Hall of Famer told police she abandoned her newborn baby to ‘save herself first.’
Alexandra Eckersley, 26, the daughter of Dennis Eckersley, was arrested on Monday after she allegedly gave birth to her baby boy in a freezing tent in Manchester, New Hampshire, before leading police to the wrong spot to find the infant struggling to breathe.
Eckersley allegedly misled police for 73 minutes, telling them the baby was born near the West Side Ice Arena around midnight, before they finally arrived at the tent she shared with a man named George near the Piscataquag River at Electric Street.
When asked why she didn’t bring her baby to the bridge to meet with police after making the 911 call, she replied: ‘What do they tell you when a plane goes down? Save yourself first.’
Alexandra Eckersley, 26, was arrested on Monday after she allegedly gave birth to her baby boy in a freezing tent , before leading police to the wrong spot to find the infant struggling to breathe
Eckersley allegedly misled police for 73-minutes, telling them the baby was born near the West Side Ice Arena around 1am, before they finally arrived at the tent (pictured) she shared with a man named George near the Piscataquag River at Electric Street
Officers found her baby laying on the ground next to the bed behind a blanket after they ‘noticed a trail of blood that appeared to run down the side of the bed,’ the police report, viewed by the Boston Globe, said.
The baby was still alive when officers, found him and was rushed to Catholic Medical Center before being airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
She appeared in court virtually while being treated at a hospital. Her bail has been set at $3,000, in order to be released she must also find a sober living home or accommodation with relatives, and she must stay away from her son.
Eckersley was found wearing bloodstained clothes and was under the influence of drugs, the Boston Globe reported.
She was charged with reckless conduct, endangering a child, and two other charges. She was arrested on a separate warrant out of Concord District Court on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said the baby is improving, but said there is ‘no excuse for this.’
‘If you choose to live in the woods and choose to live your life a particular way, and you don’t want to accept our outreach that goes every day in this city — and you want to live out there and do that with your life – fine,’ he said.
Eckersley claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant and gave birth in the tent with George present. She also told police the baby ‘cried immediately after birth, however, it was for less than a minute,’ the police report said.
‘Once she gave birth, she did not know what to do,’ police said.
She called authorities at 12.06am and went to meet the ambulance while George went back to the tent to turn off his tablet and propane heater, leaving the baby behind.
Her father, Dennis Eckersley, nicknamed ‘Eck,’ was an American professional baseball pitcher and former commentator.
Between 1975 and 1998 he pitched in MLB for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals.
The 68-year-old gained prominence after becoming the first of two pitchers in major league history to have both a 20-win season and a 50-save season in a career.
He played 24 seasons and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.
She is the adopted daughter of Dennis Eckersley (pictured), a MLB Hall of Famer
They had agreed prior to the police arriving that they would not lead officers to their tent because they fear it would be torn down and taken away, leaving them without shelter during the winter.
‘Eckersley admitted that she had a conversation with George where they agreed to tell the police that the incident occurred at the soccer fields so that the police would not find and take their tents,’ the police report said.
‘During this portion of the interview Eckersley was stating that it is very hard to survive if they had lost their tent because of the cold temperatures during the winter in Manchester. Eckersley stated that this is the reason they turned off the propane heat.’
Outreach workers who have interacted with Eckersley were shocked to learn she was pregnant, as she did not appear so the last time they saw her on October 28.
‘She never once mentioned she was pregnant, and if you looked at her, you would never have known,’ Sara Tofanelli, who said she does not condone what Eckersley did, told the Boston Globe.
Both workers said the MLB famer’s daughter struggled with mental illness and substance use disorder and had been homeless for the past five years.
One of the workers, Carol M. Lizotte, said Eckersley isn’t the person ‘she’s being painted to look like’ and that the new mom had even wished her a Merry Christmas on Facebook.
When asked why she did not bring the baby to police and left him in the tent, she told them: ‘What do they tell you when a plane goes down? Save yourself first’
Officers found her baby laying on the ground next to the bed behind a blanket after they ‘noticed a trail of blood that appeared to run down the side of the bed,’ the police report said
She and George had agreed prior to the police arriving that they would not lead officers to their tent because they fear it would be torn down and taken away, leaving them without shelter during the winter
‘She has the potential to be a wonderful mother…It’s not all her fault. She’s actually a victim in this case just as much as the baby,’ Lizotte told the Boston Globe. ‘It’s this whole gigantic, messy picture. What we’re seeing happen to this young woman and her baby is very, very bad, but it’s indicative of a much larger picture, a much larger problem.’
Tofanelli agreed, saying: ‘Mental health is the primary issue. Without mental health concerns, there was no reason for this.’
Eckersley is the adopted daughter of MLB Hall of Famer and former Red Sox pitcher and broadcaster Dennis Eckersley.
In 2019, the Concord Monitor reported that Alexandra struggles with mental illness and substance abuse. She suffers from bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.
‘I want to begin a homeless mental health awareness event,’ Alexandra said at the time.
‘Have it be like the telethon, or a carnival where you pay to get in, or a movie night and the money goes to a housing shelter.’
‘During this portion of the interview Eckersley was stating that it is very hard to survive if they had lost their tent because of the cold temperatures during the winter in Manchester,’ the police report read
Their tent was found in Piscataquog River Park, where signs are posted about no camping or cooking
Alexandra, also known affectionately as Allie, is the daughter of Dennis and Nancy O’Neil, Eckersley’s second wife. She also has a brother named Jake.
O’Neil and Dennis divorced shortly after his retirement from baseball.
His third wife Jennifer, who is former lobbyist and manages the baseball legends business and charitable affairs spoke to the Concord Monitor in 2019.
Speaking to the outlet she revealed how Alexandra came to be in the ‘painful situation’ she found herself in.
‘As you can imagine this is an incredibly private and painful situation,’ she wrote.
‘Dennis and Nancy decline speaking to you about it, as it’s simply too painful. Instead, the family offers this statement.
‘As a family, we have been devoted to her health and wellbeing. We have given her unconditional love, nurturing and support.
‘We have left no stone unturned in seeking the help, resources, programs and professionals she has needed throughout her life.
‘Once she became of legal age our ability to intervene on her behalf became far more limited.’
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