The boyfriend of Dennis Eckersley’s adopted daughter was arrested for allegedly ditching Alexandra Eckersley’s newborn baby in a cold tent last month, authorities said.
George Theberge, 45, was with Eckersley, the daughter of the Hall of Fame pitcher, when she delivered the baby in freezing cold temperatures on Dec. 26 before they allegedly abandoned the child in the tent where they lived in New Hampshire, according to Manchester police.
Theberge, identified as Eckersley’s boyfriend in court papers, was nabbed by Manchester police Wednesday and charged with tampering with a witness, child endangerment and reckless conduct, the Boston Globe reported. His arraignment is Thursday.
Eckersley, 26, pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and other charges. Theberge allegedly urged his girlfriend to mislead police about where the baby was, the newspaper reported, citing police reports.
A police affidavit stated she called authorities around midnight on Dec. 26 and told them she just gave birth, the Globe reported.
When officers responded, she allegedly lied about where the baby was located. The little boy was eventually found not properly clothed and struggling to breathe on the floor of the tent, the Manchester Fire Department said.
Manchester police said the baby — now reportedly doing well — was left alone for more than an hour in 15-degree temperatures before being rescued by first responders.
The police affidavit stated Eckersley told cops that her boyfriend told her the newborn “did not have a pulse and she did not know how to determine if the child had a pulse or not,” according to the Globe.
She additionally said her and Theberge, both homeless, talked about how police would break up the tent where they lived, leaving them out in the cold over the winter season, the affidavit reportedly said.
“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,” police wrote, the newspaper reported.
Eckersley’s lawyer, Kim Kossick, said her client did tell authorities where the child was.
“In my opinion, she did save the baby’s life,” Kossick argued.
Dennis Eckersley pitched in the major leagues for 24 seasons and was a former broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox. The Cy Young winner and his family said in a statement they were in “complete shock” over the incident and noted their adopted daughter has dealt with “severe mental illness.”
“It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances,” the family said, according to NBC Boston. “We learned with everyone else from news reports what happened and are still in complete shock.”
The family additionally said they have offered their daughter a way home, “but she has made other choices.” They said they filed a guardianship petition in order to receive information and have decision making with respect to Allie’s son.”
“We hope Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs for her mental health issues,” the family said. “We also hope that all those who have heard this tragic story withhold judgment about our daughter until all the facts come out.”
Eckersley was released on bond on Dec. 31, the Globe reported.
Conditions of her release include living in a sober home, her parents, or another arrangement the court approved. She also could not have contact with her son.
Her lawyer said she is in treatment and recovering from the ordeal.
With Post wires