A North Dakota woman who pleaded guilty to the murder of her pregnant neighbor as part of a plot to steal her baby has been sentenced to life in prison.
Brook Crews, 38, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11., to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and giving false information to police.
Crews, who has been dubbed “womb raider,” admitted to cutting the infant out of 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind while she was still alive. The young mom-to-be then bled to death.
LaFontaine-Greywind disappeared on Aug. 19 after visiting the apartment of Crews and Crews’ boyfriend William Hoehn. LaFontaine-Greywind reportedly lived with her parents in the same six-unit building in north Fargo as the couple.
Her parents said she went upstairs to help Crews with a sewing project, and they became alarmed when she didn't return promptly, according to reports.
Prosecutors said that Crews and LaFontaine-Greywind argued before Crews pushed her to the ground, knocking her unconscious.
Then, using either a “utility knife or a blade,” Crews cut into LaFontaine-Greywind as she faded in and out of consciousness and removed the infant from her womb.
Crews’ 32-year-old boyfriend, William Hoehn, told police he came home that night to his girlfriend cleaning up blood in their bathroom.
Hoehn said Crews presented him with an infant girl and said, "This is our baby. This is our family.”
Hoehn told police he took garbage bags containing bloody shoes and his bloody towels and disposed of them, according to the court document.
LaFontaine-Greywind was reported missing, and days later, police obtained a search warrant for Crews and Hoehn’s apartment, where they found a newborn baby inside.
DNA testing confirmed that the baby was the child of LaFontaine-Greywind and her longtime boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, reports said.
Police said Crews initially claimed LaFontaine-Greywind gave up her newborn daughter, later named Haisley Jo, but eventually admitted taking advantage of the woman to get the child.
Baby Haisley Jo sat in the courtroom with her biological father, Matheny, as Crews was sentenced to life without parole.
LaFontaine-Greywind’s mother, Norberta Greywind, spoke in court about missing her daughter.
“I miss her laugh. I miss her so much,” she said. “My heart is literally broken. I find myself looking through pictures and videos. Brooke Crews befriended us. She was monitoring our daily routine. I still have nightmares. I cannot accept that someone had done this to my daughter. For someone to do this to another human is beyond evil.”
Hoehn is also charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and giving false information to police, to which he pleaded not guilty. His trial set to begin in May.