PHILADELPHIA – A woman who conceived several children through an affair with a man unaware of her pregnancies was charged with homicide after tests on remains found in coolers or encased in concrete showed at least four infants were born alive but killed, authorities said.
Michele Kalina, 44, kept the remains in her closet until her husband and daughter found them in July, authorities said.
Kalina, a nurse’s aide, also bore a daughter from the same affair in 2003 but gave the baby up for adoption, authorities said. She and her husband have a teenage daughter and had a 13-year-old son who died in 2000 after a long illness.
The husband and daughter found five sets of infant remains in a closet this summer in coolers, one of which was filled with cured cement, police said.
At least four of the babies were born at or near term, then killed in a manner consistent with asphyxia, poisoning or neglect, authorities determined.
Kalina will be held without bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday. She has been in custody since August on abuse-of-corpse charges.
Her public defender, Holly Feeney, declined to comment Monday after Kalina was arraigned on criminal homicide, aggravated assault and other charges.
Kalina denied that she had had any other children or pregnancies until confronted with the adoption paperwork, police said.
Jeffrey Kalina had suspected at least once that his wife was pregnant, police said. The boyfriend, who was not identified, said he did not, although he said he noticed her abdomen growing after they began dating in 1996.
Kalina told him she had cysts on her fallopian tubes that she had drained at a hospital, he said. The “cysts” returned several times over the years, he said.
DNA tests on the remains show the boyfriend fathered at least three and possibly four of the babies, authorities said.
Kalina has a stable work history, with 14 years on the job and no maternity or extended medical leaves, the affidavit states. But she acknowledged to police that she is an alcoholic prone to blackouts.
Until her arrest, she lived in a high-rise apartment with her husband, who is disabled, and their 19-year-old daughter. Jeffrey Kalina told authorities that the containers had been moved to the apartment with other belongings from their prior home.
In interviews in early August, Kalina told police she had forbidden her husband and daughter from going in the closet and said she had been meaning to clean it, the affidavit states. She denied until confronted with adoption paperwork that she had had any other children or pregnancies, police said.