Police were called to Simontown Road in New Jersey late at night after reports of a fire, and what they found was unthinkable. A 22-year-old mother had doused her baby with accelerant before lighting her on fire in the middle of the road.
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier of Pemberton Township has been charged with murder. She is currently in jail with a $500,000 bail set. Police responded to a call at 11 p.m. on Friday night that led them to the scene of the fire in the New Jersey township, located roughly 30 miles east of Philadelphia. Police officers found the baby girl on fire in the middle of a residential road.
At the time of the rescue, the baby was said to be alive and breathing. The infant was flown to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where she died two hours later. Dorvilier was arrested at the scene.
Members of the community are in shock over the horrific act. A Candlelight Vigil for Pemberton Infant Facebook page has been created to gather donations for the baby’s funeral, with plans to hold a memorial service this week. Organizer Jenna Dilley has emphasized that the purpose of the Facebook page is to pay tribute to the young baby who lost her life, not to garner media attention or place judgment.
Dilley posted to the page, “We are starting to gain some major media attention and everyone is wanting to get a good story out there to help with donations and share in celebrating the life of this precious little angel. I don’t really care about a story, what I care about is the baby. I want my complete 100% attention to be focused on the baby and vigil.”
It’s natural to want to judge a mother who commits this type of heartbreaking crime, but until police release a motive, we don’t know the full story. Dorvilier is very likely mentally ill. She could be suffering from postpartum depression. She could be struggling with addiction or another serious issue that has irrevocably clouded her judgment.
Pemberton Township residents provide the perfect example of how to respond in the face of such a terrible event, evidenced by the community’s Facebook page. The damage is done, and now it’s time to honor this baby girl whose life was violently cut short.
Dilley defies the mob mentality and extends a message of hope for the young victim’s mother and remaining family, “I pray she finds her forgiveness and that we send the message that love is not conditional. What I do want to see is all of us, as a community reaching out to that extended family, loving them, embracing them and letting them all know we are here for them.”