New Jersey

Mom Accused of Setting Baby Girl on Fire, Killing Her

EDITOR'S NOTE: The details of this story are graphic and may be upsetting for some

A New Jersey mother is accused of burning her newborn baby to death.

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, of Pemberton Township, New Jersey, is charged with one count of murder after she allegedly doused her newborn daughter with an accelerant and then set the child on fire.

Pemberton Township Police officers were called to Simontown Road just before 11 p.m. Friday after a resident reported a fire in the roadway. When they arrived, they found the baby girl on fire and quickly doused the flames.

Davis Joseph said he saw Dorvilier set her baby girl on fire.

"She said it was poop," Joseph said. "She said her dog pooped in her car and she was burning the poop on the side of the road."

Joseph told NBC10 he realized moments later however that what was on fire was actually an infant with the umbilical cord still attached.

"My wife heard the baby scream," Joseph said. "And then I slammed the door shut. She[[Dorvilier]] tried to run for it. Then I put her to the ground. That's when we saw it was a baby." 

Dorvilier denied the child was hers, according to Joseph.

"It's disheartening, like a nightmare what I saw out there," Joseph said.

The baby was airlifted to Saint Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia around 11:15 p.m. and was still alive and breathing. She died from her injuries two hours later however.

After investigators determined Dorvilier was responsible for her child's death, she was taken into custody at the scene of the crime. She was lodged in the Burlington County Corrections and Work Release Center in Pemberton Township on $500,000 bail.

"It's a tragedy," said Robert Cannon, a Pemberton resident. "I'm a parent, [to] a newborn too, actually. I can't imagine doing that to a newborn or an adult." 

Authorities say Dorvilier could have dropped the infant off at a police station or hospital anonymously as part of New Jersey's safe haven law.

"It's a crazy world," said Mount Holly Fire Company Lieutenant Nick Allen. "I wish she would have taken better action on it, dropped her off at a hospital or fire company, called the state or police department to take care of the baby." 

Strangers created a memorial for the unnamed baby girl with flowers and teddy bears.

An autopsy on the baby will be performed by the Burlington County Medical Examiner. The details on the girl's birth are under investigation.

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