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Jurors watch Patel hospital interview video in day five of feticide trial

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Jurors heard from Purvi Patel for the first time Thursday in day five of her feticide and neglect trial.

Prosecutors played a videotaped interview an investigator did with Patel hours after officers found her baby boy in a dumpster behind her family's business -- Moe's Southwest Grill, back in July of 2013.

It was about an hour long with a Metro Homicide investigator while Patel was lying in her hospital bed in the maternity ward. She was cooperative and answered most of the questions he asked her without hesitating.

She told the detective she'd only learned she was pregnant three weeks earlier, and according to her last monthly cycle, she thought she was about two months along.

She also told the officer she'd been cramping the last couple days, and even left work early, which wasn't normal because she's used to working seven days a week at Moe's Southwest Grill in Mishawaka, a restaurant she said her father owns and she runs.

Officers had found her baby just hours earlier in a dumpster behind the restaurant.

During that hospital interview, Detective Galen Pelletier told Patel several times she was not in police custody and could ask him to leave at any time.

"I want to get this cleared out," Patel said in the recorded interview.

"I just want you to understand you can tell me you don't want me to be here right now," Pelletier said for the third time.

"I have nothing to hideI just found out a couple weeks ago that I was [pregnant]," Patel answered.

Later in the interview, when the detective asked about the father of the baby, Patel would not say his name or given any details about him.

"I don't want my parents finding out," she told the police officer.

"Finding out about what?" he asked.

"Any details of it," Patel replied.

"Details about the encounter with this person, or details about tonight?"

"All of it," she said.

Patel went on to describe to the detective how she delivered the baby at home saying, "It all came out."

She also said she opened the baby's mouth and tried to resuscitate it, but said the baby was small and lifeless.

When the detective asked why she didn't call 911, Patel told him she was in shock and there was so much blood coming out of her.

She said she put it in a plastic trash bag because she "didn't know what else to do."

The state also called a toxicologist to the witness stand Thursday. Metro Homicide Crime Scene Technician Tom Cameron told jurors about six search warrants used in the case against Patel.

He testified about September 2013, when he tested Purvi Patel's blood samples for the two types of abortion drugs police say she ordered online and took a few days before she lost the baby.

That toxicologist said he did a lot of research and couldn't find any scientifically reliable ways to test her blood for those drugs.

He thentried to dothe test his own way and said he couldn't find any traces in her system.

He also told jurors since that time he's found out there are tests he could have done, but said it's very unlikely he would have found traces of the drugs if she ingested them since neither of them last long in the human system.

The toxicologist also testified about a "blood trail" from the shower to Patel's bedroom inside her Granger home. That's where police went just before finding the infant behind Moe's.

Cameron also testified he was able to log onto the website and order and receive the same abortion drugs Patel mentioned in text messages with a friend.

But when questioning about those drugs became more involved, Defense Attorney Jeff Sanford objected, saying, "What the state is attempting to do is to use a text messageand a redacted [email from an online drug company], which says nothing. If they had something to connect her - some document, anything to show she received the drugs, that's fine. But I don't think they do."

In opening statementsMonday, the state told jurors Patel's pill order was delivered to Moe's. The judge overruled Sanford's objection, but later told jurors Cameron's testimony was not evidence that Patel ordered and received evidence from that website.

"If you knew the defendant was associated with Moe's and the infant was found at Moe's July 13, why wasn't Moe's searched?" a juror asked Cameron.

"We didn't have any probable cause to believe it was involved" Cameron said. "Once we find the baby, the question in our mind would be where was the baby born? Once we make contact at [Patel's home] and we see blood there, we believe the birth was [there]. If we hadn't found anything there,Moe's would have been our second choice."

It's also worth pointing out - jurors have heard from different doctors and pathologists involved in the case - Patel'sbaby was anywhere from 25 to 30 weeks gestation when she delivered, according to the pathologist.

That's important because jurors have been told a baby is viable as early as 23 or 24 weeks - meaning it can live outside a mother's womb with medical support.

We expect the defense's pathologist to potentially dispute those numbers, as well as dispute whether the baby was born alive, as a pathologist for the state testified Wednesday.

The state is expected to call one more doctor and a detective before resting. The defense plans to call a pathologist and Purvi Patel's parents.

It is unclear if Patel will take the stand in her own defense.

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Thecase should go to jury Friday or Monday.

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