WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The mother of a newborn baby found floating in the Boynton Beach Inlet more than four years ago pleaded not guilty on a murder charge Tuesday morning.
Arya Singh, 29, of Boynton Beach, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Kirk Volker, waived arraignment and entered her plea at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
Singh originally was charged with first-degree murder but the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office has dropped that charge and added second-degree murder, which has a maximum sentence of life in prison, and abuse of a corpse.
First-degree murder cases can include the death penalty. The state must prove the killing was planned. Prosecutors believe Singh killed her newborn "without any premeditated design."
An initial case conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 9.
During her initial court appearance that lasted less than two minutes on Dec. 16, Singh was denied bond and will remain in the Palm Beach County Jail, one day after her arrest.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Singh is the mother of "Baby June," whose naked body was discovered by an off-duty Boynton Beach firefighter on June 1, 2018.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Forensic Biology Unit used a pilot program to help identify the newborn child's father and, ultimately, her mother.
"She didn't know that she was pregnant until she saw that the baby had come out," Detective Brittany Christoffel said.
"She said the baby landed in the water and then she went and she passed out. She didn't pick up the baby or check on her at all. She ended up leaving, going to school and then going to the inlet later that night."