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Hall of Fame pitcher’s family seeks guardianship of newborn allegedly abandoned in woods by daughter, while a second suspect is arrested in the case

One man has been placed under arrest for allegedly abandoning a newborn baby boy to the freezing New Hampshire elements on Christmas while the baby’s grandparents fight to gain guardianship rights to ensure that his condition continues to improve.

In the late hours of Christmas Day, 26-year-old Alexandra Eckersley, the daughter of MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley, allegedly gave birth in a homeless camp she shares with her boyfriend, 45-year-old George Theberge. Alexandra Eckersley spoke to police that night and told them that she had left her newborn baby boy in a soccer field in Manchester. Firefighters and first responders then searched desperately for the child in frigid temperatures for over an hour, to no avail. At that point, Eckersley reportedly changed her story and redirected them to her tent, where they found the boy “moving, not crying, and exposed.” The lone propane heater located in the tent had supposedly been switched off.

Eckersley was immediately arrested and charged with felony reckless conduct, second-degree assault/extreme indifference, endangering the welfare of a child, and falsifying physical evidence. She pled not guilty in absentia while she recuperated in a hospital. She had allegedly admitted to using cocaine in the days leading up to the birth and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics when she was arrested.

That night, Theberge was nowhere to be found, even though he is believed to have been present when the child was born. On Wednesday, police finally caught up with him and arrested him for suspicion of tampering with a witness, child endangerment, and reckless conduct. Police have suggested that Theberge encouraged Eckersley to mislead first responders about the baby’s true whereabouts because he feared that law enforcement would seize their tent and other belongings.

“Eckersley admitted that she had a conversation with George where they agreed to tell the police that the incident occurred at the soccer fields so that the police would not find and take their tents,” a police report states.

Whether Theberge is the father of the child has not yet been reported.

While prosecutors attempt to hold the suspects accountable for the abandoned baby, the boy’s maternal family members, including Dennis Eckersley and ex-wife Nancy, have petitioned to gain guardianship rights over the boy so that they can be kept apprised of his condition and make medical decisions on his behalf. Reports indicate that, despite the harrowing circumstances surrounding his birth, the boy is “doing well.”

The Eckersley family, who adopted Alexandra at birth, issued a statement following the alleged incident.

“We are utterly devastated by the events that unfolded on Christmas night when our daughter Allie delivered a baby while living in a tent,” the written statement said. “It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances. We learned with everyone else from news reports what happened and are still in complete shock. We had no prior knowledge of Allie’s pregnancy.”

“Allie has suffered from severe mental illness her entire life,” the statement added. “Allie was hospitalized numerous times for her illness and lived in several residential programs. We did our very best to get Allie all of the help and support humanly possible.”

“We have always offered Allie a path home but she has made other choices,” the statement concluded. “We hope Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs for her mental health issues. We also hope that all those who have heard this tragic story withhold judgment about our daughter until all the facts come out.”

Dennis Eckersley, 68, spent 23 years pitching in the major leagues, mostly with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, with whom he won a World Series in 1989. After he retired from the mound, he spent 13 years in the broadcast booth providing color commentary for his old club, the Boston Red Sox. He retired from broadcasting last October. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

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