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When an English woman heading home refused to pass through a metal detector before boarding her plane at Kennedy airport, a police officer got suspicious.

And when he ordered the slender, 30-year-old woman searched, she confessed: Under her coat in a bag was her dead daughter, born just hours before.The medical examiner determined Friday that the baby's death was a homicide caused by suffocation.

Carolyn Beale was charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, said spokesman Sgt. Edward Caro.

She was admitted to Queens Hospital Center where she was under psychiatric observation. "She's stressed and in tears," hospital spokeswoman Beryl Williams said.

Beale was being held overnight at the hospital and would face an arraignment some time this weekend, said Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney's office.

Beale told investigators that she gave birth at full term in a Manhattan hotel around 1 a.m. Thursday, then placed the infant in several plastic bags, de Bourbon said.

Investigators had no motive for why the woman might have wanted the baby dead, or why she wanted to bring the body home with her.