Police do not believe baby was tossed down trash chute

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Rachelle Nelson, the mother of a Memphis infant reportedly dropped down a trash chute, was in custody Tuesday in connection with the bizarre case related to her son.

Sunday morning, Memphis police were called to the Pinnacle Tower on Bellevue where a one-month-old infant was reportedly tossed down a trash chute on the 11th floor, and slid down 110 feet into an empty dumpster below.

The baby survived with minor injuries. He was taken to LeBonheur in non-critical condition. His mother, Rachelle Nelson, told police that his father threw the baby down the chute and took off.

Now, investigators are no longer searching for the baby's father. He is not a wanted man and will not be charged in this case. Instead, they have very serious questions for someone else: Nelson.

Nelson was booked into the Shelby County Jail at 8:20 Monday night.

Tuesday night, Memphis police said Nelson had been charged with "false reporting" in connection with the incident.  Officials interviews with the father of the child and witnesses, combined with physical evidence, led investigators to question the accuracy of Nelson's complaint.
According to police, the physical evidence revealed that the child would have fallen approximately 110 feet and been traveling over 100 miles per hour or 36 feet per second when it landed in an empty metal trash container.

At that speed, serious injuries to the child would have been likely, officials said.

Nelson's children are in the custody of the Department of Children's Services.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.