Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Wayne Chief of Police Jack McNiff announced Wednesday, that based upon an investigation by the Wayne Police Department, in conjunction with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Nicole Tsentas, 33, from Emerson, and Amanda Walker, 36, from Wayne, were arrested on May 9 for concealing the remains of a human fetus inside a Wayne residence.
Both Tsentas and Walker were charged with “disturbing, desecrating human remains,” a second-degree crime.
The remains came to light on May 8, at around 5:45 p.m., when police officers were dispatched to a residence in Wayne after they received a report that someone had discovered the remains of a human fetus inside a storage container in their basement. Upon the discovery, the residents contacted the authorities.
During the investigation, authorities learned that Tsentas gave birth sometime in July 2020. Tsentas reportedly told police that the baby was not moving or breathing, so she took the baby to her home, wrapped it in a blanket and placed it in her closet. Sometime thereafter, Tsentas confided in Walker about the baby. Walker allegedly assisted Tsentas in moving the fetus to the residence in Wayne and placed the fetus in a storage container in the basement.
Police then say that when Tsentas asked for the storage container, the residents of the home retrieved it from the basement and discovered the fetus inside. The Medical Examiner’s Office took custody of the remains, and the results of the autopsy are pending.
Nicole Tsentas and Amanda Walker are scheduled to appear at Central Judicial Processing on Friday, May 13, 2022. The State has filed a motion for pretrial detention in this matter that will be heard by a Superior Court Judge.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact their tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Wayne Police Detective Bureau at 973-694-0600.