Reading Mother Charged

Posted on November 12, 2010 by

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Since July 29, 2010, police and mental health experts have been baffled by the bizarre case of 44-year-old Michele G. M. Kalina. The Reading resident, who has worked for 14 years as a home care aid, was recently charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, concealing the death of a child, and other related charges in the deaths of her five babies.

On July 29, Kalina’s daughter Elizabeth found a cooler containing human remains hidden in her mother’s closet. After contacting police along with her father, Jeffrey Kalina, they discovered two more sets of infant remains inside plastic containers, one of which was filled with cement. On August fifth, a fourth set was found in a plastic bag, and the next day a fifth infant’s remains were discovered in a Conestoga landfill. Autopsies revealed that the infants were between 32 and 43 weeks old when killed by asphyxiation, poisoning, or neglect. Three of the infants were male, two were female, and one’s gender could not be identified.

DNA testing on the infant remains showed that Kalina was the mother of at least four of the children and the father was her boyfriend, a man with whom she had been having an affair for fourteen years. The mother and father of one of the babies could not be identified.

Michele Kalina admitted that she also had a sixth child. She gave birth to a baby girl on October 22nd, 2003, in St. Joseph’s Hospital. In a letter to her boyfriend (whose name has not been released) Kalina said she gave the child up for adoption. Records also revealed to police that in 2000 Kalina’s son Andrew died at age thirteen of positional asphyxiation. Andrew had cerebral palsy and was bedbound; his death was ruled accidental.

Authorities say that Michele Kalina hid the pregnancies of the five babies by saying that she had cysts on her fallopian tubes. She claimed that these cysts had caused her stomach to become enlarged. In this unique case, there are still many unknowns, such as where Kalina delivered the children, how nobody noticed the pregnancies six times, and what caused this mother to commit such an act.

Mental health experts have composed several theories on the case, ranging from Kalina having a mental illness, such as postpartum depression, to her being a serial killer. Kalina may claim she is not guilty by reason of insanity. Currently, she is denying killing any of her children and has told her husband she is being framed.

There are many comparable cases to Kalina’s, including the infamous case of Andrea Yates. Yates was a 46-year-old nurse’s aid from Houston who drowned five of her children in a bathtub in 2001. In the majority of cases that resemble Kalina’s, the women suffered from depression, multiple personality disorder, and disorders characterized by killing for attention. Most of these women claimed insanity and were found not guilty.

As of now, Michele G.M. Kalina is not helping the investigation in any way. She is currently being held in the county jail without bail.

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