After becoming pregnant last year, a Bakersfield teenager managed to keep it a secret.
Her family learned of the pregnancy when she gave birth Nov. 12 in a bathroom at her southwest Bakersfield home. The girl's mother took the newborn from her.
That's the last the then-15-year-old saw of the child. She was told it was surrendered for adoption.
But months later, after the girl contacted one of her teachers and reported her father threatened to kill her, police discovered the baby's corpse buried in the family's backyard, according to court documents released Thursday shedding new light on a case that's stunned local residents and sent shockwaves through the Sikh community.
The girl's mother, Beant Dhillon, 43, has admitted taking the baby from her daughter — whose name is redacted in the documents — and drowning it in a bathtub, according to police. Dhillon is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. She's next due in court April 17.
The teen's father, Jagsir Singh, 48, hanged himself last week. It was the father's threats, according to the documents, that prompted her to reach out to a teacher who alerted authorities.
Police contacted the girl Feb. 26, and she said her father entered her room that morning and yelled about how the house was a mess and blamed her for it, according to the documents.
When her father gets mad, the girl told police, he threatens "to kill her and marry her away," officers wrote in the documents. She said her father usually threatens to cut her into pieces.
Asked if she had anything else to tell them, the girl, who is now 16, said she gave birth at her home in November. Her parents told her the child was taken away for adoption, she said, but on Feb. 25 her brother told her the baby was buried in the backyard. He laughed as he told her.
She said Dhillon was present and gave her brother "a look," and the brother, also a minor, said he was only kidding, according to the documents.
Police went to the family's house in the 5200 block of Shining Crag Avenue and interviewed the parents. The family, like most residents in the neighborhood, is Sikh, adherents of a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab region of northern India.
Dhillon told investigators she'd been unaware her daughter was pregnant and described her as a "defiant" child. She said the baby was stillborn.
Later, however, she admitting placing the baby face down in a bathtub and leaving him there for several minutes, until he stopped moving, according to the documents.
She called Singh home from work and showed him the baby, which she had placed in a bag inside of a bucket, the documents say. Later that night, Dhillon said, she and 23-year-old Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann, her daughter's cousin, dug a hole, placed salt on the newborn to help cover the smell and buried him.
Dhillon said no one sought medical care for her daughter.
Conflicting reports were given as to the identity of the child's father.
Dhillon and the girl's brother said she was raped, but the girl told police the child was the result of a consensual sexual encounter with a senior from another high school, according to the documents. She said she wore baggy clothing to hide the pregnancy.
Singh, the girl's father, told police he was "90 percent certain" Mann fathered the child, according to the documents. Singh said the two seemed "more than cousins."
Mann, in the country illegally, removed a GPS monitoring device the day after police dug up the body. He remains at large.
Singh had faced charges of being an accessory to murder and willful cruelty to a child. He bonded out of jail following his Feb. 26 arrest, and hanged himself inside his house.
His body was found March 7.