Police find fetus in purse while arresting woman

    Bernadette Rivera was found in possession of heroin and meth, and she was found to have been holding an 8-week-old fetus in her purse. (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

    SAN ANTONIO (NEWS4SA) - A woman questioned by police for breaking park curfew was found to be in possession of a lot more than they anticipated.

    That woman was found to have heroin and meth on her and also, as she told police, an 8-week-old fetus.

    Children were playing at Cassiano Park in San Antonio Friday, just the night before Bernadette Rivera, 32, was arrested for drugs and told police she also has her fetus in her bag.

    "This is definitely something tragic that occurred that definitely did not have to occur," said Yolanda Valenzuela with Children Advocates of San Antonio.

    "San Antonio has a plethora of services available for the expectant moms in the city," she said.

    According to police, the woman had suffered a miscarriage and went to a local hospital but then decided she wanted to dispose of the remains herself.

    The fetus, estimated to be eight weeks, was wrapped in tissue and inside a Q-tip box.

    Rivera had multiple drugs on her, but whether or not she was using while pregnant has not been determined.

    Valenzuela said they're prepared to help in situations like this.

    "Even if you are homeless or even if you are jobless, there are plenty of services for expectant mothers to prevent this from happening," she said.

    While Rivera faces drug charges, she broke no laws by having the fetus.

    Last September, Texas passed a law that allows parents to have the rights to a fetus' remains if it's under 20 weeks old.

    Rivera's fetus is currently at a local funeral home.

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