• Woman charged says she was invited to home
A Brookings mother told police she was awakened by her barking dogs early Sunday morning, only to find a stranger in her bedroom, attempting to nurse the woman’s 2-month-old child.
But the individual now charged with unlawful occupancy, 24-year-old Rebecca Silva of Brookings, says that only part of that story is true. Most important, she says, she never tried to breast-feed the other woman’s child.
Brookings police received a 911 call shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, according to Lt. Derrick Powers, the caller reporting that a woman she did not know had entered her home in the 500 block of Eighth Street South. She said she awoke to find the woman in her room, attempting to breast-feed her infant.
The mother said she was able to recover her baby safely and call the police, but by the time officers arrived, Silva had fallen asleep on the bed next to another of the woman’s children.
Police said Silva did not harm either of the children.
The officers took Silva into custody, charging her with entering and remaining in a building, a misdemeanor. She was taken to the Brookings County Detention Center where she was later released on her own recognizance.
Alcohol was a factor in the incident, Powers said.
Silva has since denied the allegations against her. She told The Associated Press late Monday that she never tried to feed the infant and that she had been invited into the home, saying she'd met the woman the night before. According to Silva, both had been drinking.
"I did not break into her house. She invited me in. She gave me her pajamas,” Silva said.
“She lied to the cops that I broke into her house. I did not try to feed her baby. That didn't happen," she said, noting that she was only cited for unlawful occupancy.
She said she remembered having an argument with the other woman, who told police she was roused by her dogs.
Contrary to earlier press reports – and whatever the other facts of the case may be – Silva did not break into the residence, Powers said. The door was not locked, and there were no signs of forced entry.
Without speculating on what might have happened Sunday, the police lieutenant took the occasion to once again urge Brookings residents to lock their homes and garage doors, particularly when they retire for the night.
There have been a number of “walk-in” incidents in Brookings in recent years, one with fatal consequences.