Sosefina Amoa gave birth to the boy Oct. 10, police say, and smothered him with a garment because she feared nuns would hear the newborn's cries.
Amoa was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder after the death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation, according to multiples news reports.
The order says in a statement that they're praying for everyone involved."We all feel this is a very tragic situation. We are just praying for everyone involved. Now that it is in the hands of the legal system, we will not be providing any further comment," stated Sister Constance Veit in a statement.
The Little Sisters of the Poor is an international congregation of Roman Catholic women founded in 1839 by Saint Jeanne Jugan, according to its website, which says they serve the elderly poor in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Amoa arrived in the District from Samoa on Oct. 5, according to The Washington Post.
The paper quotes court papers that say she told detectives that she did not know she was pregnant. Once the baby was dead, she took it to the hospital, with the help of another nun, in a suitcase, the court papers say.
She was arrested on Wednesday. Her scheduled arraignment in D.C. Superior Court was postponed Thursday while she receives hospital care, the Post reported.
“She said that she placed a black wool garment over the child’s nose and mouth and applied pressure with her hand for two to three minutes,” police wrote in court papers, according to the Post. “The mother said that prior to placing the wool garment over the child’s nose and mouth, the child was breathing and had cried. The mother said that after she removed the garment from the child’s nose and mouth, the child was not breathing and she knew the child was dead.”
Amoa told police that she put the body on her bed and stayed with it until the next morning, according to court papers. The unidentified nun told police that she “picked up the child” and, when she realized it was dead, “obtained a small black luggage bag which was used to transport the child to the hospital.”