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Mother accused of killing newborn in 'Geauga's Child' case told job she was going to get arrested 2 weeks ago

Gail Eastwood-Ritchey met with her bosses saying she was in trouble, but did not tell them why.

Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, the Euclid mother who is accused of killing her newborn in Geauga County back in 1993, told her co-workers she was going to be arrested two weeks ago.

She worked as a receptionist at Noreen Londregan’s School of Dance in Mayfield Village for three years. Colleen Rhode, a director at the dance studio, says she met with Eastwood-Ritchey and her husband, where she told them she was in trouble. It was the first and only sign Rhode believed something was wrong.

"Her and her husband just met with my mom and I just to give us a heads up something might be happening," She recalled. "They didn't go into any details at all...She was here Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week working. Everything was fine."

Rhode says she was blindsided by the news Eastwood-Ritchey was arrested Thursday for allegedly admitting to putting her newborn son known as "Geauga’s Child" in a trash bag and leaving him in a wooded area in Geauga County 26 years ago.

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"We all had tears in our eyes," Rhode said. "It was something that I would have never ever dreamed of her doing 25 years ago."

By all accounts, Eastwood-Ritchey—who is married with three children—has been described as a nice, Christian woman Rhode says she’s known Eastwood-Ritchey for nearly 20 years because her daughter danced at the school. 

"She was a lovely lady and she was well liked by our whole entire studio," Ritchey said. "She always had a smile on her face. She was always involved in her kids activities."

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Whoever Eastwood-Ritchey was in the '90s, Rhode says, is not the woman she now considers family. 

"She would do anything for anybody," she said.

Eastwood-Ritchey has been charged with aggravated murder and is facing life in prison. She will be arraigned Monday morning. Investigators say she also confessed to dumping another child in Cuyahoga County two years prior. She has not been charged in that case because no remains have been found, but the Geauga County prosecutor has confirmed the Euclid Police Department is investigating where those remains are, although they have not disclosed where they are looking.

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