Mother of baby discovered in bin pleads not guilty

The mother of a newborn baby found dead inside a garbage bin at a south Medford hotel has pleaded not guilty to charges of abuse of a corpse and concealing the birth of an infant.

Denise L. Flanary, 19, of Medford, appeared Wednesday before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Greif to hear the charges against her.

Wearing a kelly green T-shirt, a gray hooded vest and charcoal jeans with navy blue sneakers, Flanary stood before the judge, responding to questions with a clear and composed voice.

Greif granted her request for a public defender after Flanary said she didn't have any source of income to hire her own.

As she left the courtroom, she did not respond to questions from reporters in the lobby and looked straight ahead.

Bert Putney, administrator for the Southern Oregon Public Defenders, escorted her to the courthouse elevator.

"Don't say a word," he advised Flanary.

Outside the courthouse, Flanary's mother, Camille Mandel, told reporters she and her daughter had been advised not to say anything for legal reasons.

The baby girl's body was discovered Aug. 15 by a homeless man who was rummaging through a garbage bin for recyclables outside the Holiday Inn Express on South Pacific Highway.

The baby's cause of death has not been released. Authorities have chosen not to release the results of an autopsy performed on the body, citing the pending legal case.

Mandel told Medford's KOBI Channel 5 in an Aug. 17 interview that Flanary told her the baby was born dead. Flanary, who lives with her mother, had the baby at the house, Mandel told KOBI. The TV station also reported that Mandel didn't know Flanary was pregnant.

Flanary graduated from North Medford High School in 2008, according to her Facebook profile.

Flanary, who had no criminal record in Jackson County, has been out of jail on bail since her arrest.

A pre-trial conference on Flanary's charges is set for Oct. 26.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail

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