Woman who left child in woods is sentenced

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A judge on Monday ordered a Wall woman who abandoned her infant daughter in the woods last year to spend months in a mental health facility and have no contact with the girl until the end of her 71⁄2-year probation.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jill Rangos said Jennifer Cutruzzula, 25, will receive credit for time served since her Feb. 28, 2013, arrest, and her attorney said she will spend much of her eight-to-16-month jail sentence in a mental health facility.

Cutruzzula, who pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, will serve a probation until 2021, during which time she can have no contact with the girl.

“I think the sentence was fair,” said her attorney, Patrick Thomassey, who said his client has schizophrenia. He said she’s been doing well in jail and is getting help for her mental illness that earlier was going “unnoticed and untreated.”

“I think, in the end, this will all end up OK for her. Naturally, she’s going to miss her child,” he added, noting that she will be able to see the girl with a court order. The girl is currently living with her biological father.

Police said Cutruzzula left the then-8-month-old girl on a muddy hillside in Wall with a bottle of milk at her side. A neighbor, who saw Ms. Cutruzzula place the baby there then return without her, went looking for the girl and found her soaking wet and covered in mud, in a one-piece outfit, with her face and neck exposed, according to a police criminal complaint.

Cutruzzula told authorities she was having “family issues” with her mother and stepfather and that she needed “a fresh start.”

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