Female Killers · New Jersey

“Prom Mom” kills baby, discards body in trash at dance

June 6, 1997
Lacey Township, New Jersey
High school senior Melissa Drexler gives birth to a son in a bathroom stall during her prom, kills him, and throws his body in the trash

Drexler had concealed her pregnancy from her family, her friends, her teachers, and the father. She complained of stomach cramps in the car on the way to prom, and went to the restroom soon after arriving. When a friend asked her if she was alright, she said she would be “done pretty soon.” After her son was delivered, she cut the umbilical cord using the serrated edge of a feminine hygiene product dispenser and suffocated him with either her hand or a plastic bag. She wrapped his body in a plastic bag, discarded his body in the garbage, and returned to the dance.

A teacher asked Melissa shortly afterwards about the large quantity of blood in the restroom, to which Melissa replied she had experienced a heavy menstrual flow. Minutes after the teacher cleaned the bloodied restroom, a janitor found the baby’s body after changing the trash and finding the weight to be suspicious.

Drexler pleaded guilty of aggravated manslaughter as part of a plea agreement, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and spent just over 3 years before being released on parole.

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