Dennis Eckersley says that his daughter Alexandra, who police say abandoned her newborn in the woods, is mentally ill and that the family hopes "Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs." The Hall of Fame pitcher and his family said in a statement that they didn't know she was pregnant and that they're "utterly devastated" by what's happened. Alexandra Eckersley, 26, was arrested Sunday and faces criminal charges in New Hampshire, per USA Today. She was hospitalized, as was her son. "We are in the process of filing a guardianship petition" concerning the infant, the statement said.
Dennis and Susan Eckersley adopted Alexandra when she was born. "Allie has suffered from severe mental illness her entire life," the family said. "Allie was hospitalized numerous times for her illness and lived in several residential programs. We did our very best to get Allie all of the help and support humanly possible." The family said there was no way to force Alexandra to undergo treatment for mental illness. "We have always offered Allie a path home but she has made other choices," the statement said. Alexandra Eckersley has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and her family urged people to withhold judgment about her "until all the facts come out." (Read more abandoned baby stories.)