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Manchester police arrest man in connection with baby left in woods on West Side

Jan. 11—A man believed to have been with a woman who allegedly abandoned her newborn in a tent on the West Side last month has been arrested, Manchester police announced Wednesday.

Investigators allege George Theberge, 45, was with Alexandra Eckersley, 26, when she gave birth to a son in a tent Christmas night. At the time, police say temperatures were approximately 15 degrees and that the infant was left alone in the tent for more than an hour before officers found him.

Eckersley has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, falsifying physical evidence and reckless conduct. Eckersley petitioned the court to be released on personal recognizance to a sober living facility.

Bail was originally set at $3,000. She was released on bail under the conditions that she have no direct or indirect contact with the baby or anyone under age 18 and that she live in either a sober living facility, live with a parent or live at a residence approved by the state or court.

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Manchester police spokesman Heather Hamel said Theberge was located and arrested in Manchester Wednesday morning. He is facing charges of felony tampering with witnesses, reckless conduct and endangering the welfare of a child, and was expected to be arraigned on Thursday, police said.

As far as the relationship between Theberge and Eckersley, Hamel would only say investigators believe "they were known to each other," but said nothing further could be released at this time.

"The case is still under investigation," Hamel said in an email.

Eckersley is facing a felony charge for sending officers to search for her son in the wrong area of the woods for "nearly an hour," before leading them to the newborn. Officers responded to the West Side Arena in Manchester around 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26, after receiving a report a woman had given birth to a baby boy in the woods.

Eckersley is the daughter of former Red Sox pitching great Dennis Eckersley and his second wife, Nancy.

The baby boy, born prematurely, was brought to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment. Police said Monday they do not have any updates on the child's condition.

According to a statement issued by the Eckersley family, relatives of the accused were unaware of the pregnancy and are grateful for efforts by first responders to save the infant.

"It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances," the statement read.

"We learned with everyone else from news reports what happened and are still in complete shock."