Baby death teenager gives up to FBI

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New York - An eighteen-year-old man accused of helping his girlfriend to kill her newborn child turned himself into the FBI in Wilmington, Delaware, yesterday amid a scrum of journalists and jostling onlookers, some of them screaming "baby killer".

After 48 hours on the run, Brian Peterson, arrived at the FBI offices with his mother and father. He was expected to plead not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

Both Mr Peterson, and his girlfriend, Amy Grossberg, who is being held in custody, could face the death penalty if convicted.

The case of the young pair, who were high school sweethearts in a wealthy New Jersey suburb, has drawn widespread public interest, partly because the two accused come from backgrounds not normally associated with death penalty crimes.

It has also triggered renewed debate about capital punishment in America, with many speaking up for two people, who, although they are legally old enough to be treated as adults under the law, are accused of a crime that was quite likely to have been committed in circumstances of intense confusion and distress.

The family lawyer, Joseph Hurley, conceded that his parents had been considering smuggling their son out of the country in order to avoid placing him at the risk of execution.

Mr Hurley, first tried to talk them out of that course of action: the mother apparently responded that that way, "at least he has a life".

According to the police, Mr Peterson drove during the night of 12 November to Ms Grossberg's dormitory room at the University of Delaware, in Newark, and took her to a nearby motel.

Once they were in their room, the prosecution allege that Ms Grossberg gave birth to the baby - a boy - which the pair then killed and put in a rubbish bag. This was then put in a tip behind the motel.

A post-mortem revealed that the baby had suffered severe wounds to his skull, leading investigators to believe that his head had been crushed by the couple.

It appeared that Miss Grossberg had concealed her pregnancy from both her friends and family until the very end, presumably out of fear of revealing it to her parents. DNA tests are planned to establish whether Mr Peterson was the child's father.