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Taneytown woman charged with slaying infant daughter body found in woods; Police say she led them to site near Prettyboy


A young Taneytown mother, accused of killing her nearly 4-month-old daughter and hiding the child's body near Prettyboy Reservoir, was ordered held without bail yesterday at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup.

Police say Lisa Elizabethann Ruby, 20, of the 3900 block of Old Taneytown Pike guided officers Tuesday evening to a wooded area near the reservoir in northwestern Baltimore County, where the baby's body was found covered with leaves.

The child was identified as Tabitha Leann Meekins, born April 16, 20 years to the day after her mother.

In charging documents, police said Michael Meekins, the baby's father and Ruby's boyfriend, called state police when he arrived at the couple's home from his job as a mechanic about 5: 30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said Meekins told them he found Ruby distraught, on the floor with pills and a suicide note nearby. Meekins said the baby was missing.

Police said Ruby initially told them that her daughter suffocated in a crib that morning and that she disposed of the body.

After taking investigators to the secludedsite off Gunpowder Road, about 0.3 miles west of Foreston Road, police said Ruby blurted, "I killed my baby. It's all my fault."

The child's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Ruby was taken to Carroll County General Hospital for a possible drug overdose Tuesday night. She was examined, released and taken to the state police barracks in Westminster, where investigators said Ruby told them she placed a cloth over the baby's mouth because the child was crying.

A woman who lives near Meekins and Ruby, who asked not to be named, said she baby-sat the child when Ruby worked part time for a caterer.

The neighbor described the young couple who moved in about a year ago as loving parents and good neighbors.

"They had a rough winter, same as us, being out of work, but they made it," the woman said. "He just got a job about three days ago, and she worked when she could."

Meekins refused to speak to reporters yesterday.

At yesterday's bail review hearing in District Court, Judge JoAnn M. Ellinghaus-Jones ordered that Ruby be evaluated and treated, if necessary, at Clifton T. Perkins.

"It says here you are suffering from a severe major depression," the judge said while reading Ruby's file.

The commitment order means Ruby will remain in a locked state facility and, should she no longer need treatment, she will be returned to the Carroll County Detention Center, prosecutor Erin M. Danz said yesterday.

"The judge's decision was very appropriate under the circumstances," said Tracy A. Gilmore, an assistant state's attorney who will prosecute the case.

Ruby's initial court appearance is Sept. 5. She faces, in addition to a murder charge, charges of child abuse, child abuse resulting in a death, reckless endangerment and assault and battery, court records show.

Pub Date: 8/08/96

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