updated 3/31/2008 8:09:53 PM ET 2008-04-01T00:09:53

A 14-year-old girl on a return flight from a school trip delivered a stillborn fetus in the bathroom of an airplane and disposed of it in a waste bin, police said Monday.

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The girl, whom police did not identify, said she didn't know she had been pregnant. Preliminary autopsy results indicated the fetus was stillborn and not viable, police said.

"We're dealing with a scared child at this point," investigator Keith Lovelace said.

Police were called to Bush Intercontinental Airport after a cleaning crew found the fetus in a wastebasket in the bathroom about 15 minutes after the Continental Airlines plane landed Sunday afternoon.

The Boeing 737 had come from New York's LaGuardia Airport. The plane, which was about 30 minutes late, carried 144 passengers and six crew members.

Police Sgt. Ryan Chandler said results of the investigation would be turned over to prosecutors "to decide whether or not they're going to file any criminal charges."

Houston police are involved because the fetus was discovered within the city limits. A report from the medical examiner's office was not expected before Tuesday.

Julie King, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Continental Airlines, declined to comment Monday.

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