A North Dakota woman has pleaded guilty in the murder of her pregnant neighbor as part of a plot to steal her baby.
Brooke Crews, 38, who has been dubbed “womb raider” in the media, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder and lying to law enforcement officers in the death of her neighbor, 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind.
“From where I stand, she accepted responsibility today,” Crews’ attorney, Steven Mottinger, told INFORUM News.
He added that a guilty plea “goes a long way in terms of us being able to argue for something less than life without parole."
Crews and her boyfriend, William Hoehn, 32, had both previously pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping in Greywind's death, but has now reportedly changed her plea.
Police have not given out specific details about how Greywind, who was eight months pregnant, was killed, but noted that she died of “homicidal violence.”
Greywind disappeared on Aug. 19 after visiting the apartment of Crews and Hoehn.
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, the Star Tribune reported.
She 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 Greywind and her longtime boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, reports said.
Greywind’s body was found by kayakers eight days later in the Red River, wrapped in plastic and duct tape, police said.
Police said Crews initially claimed Greywind gave up her newborn daughter, later named Haisley Jo, but eventually admitted taking advantage of the woman to get the child.
Hoehn reportedly told police that he came home on Aug. 19 to find Crews cleaning up blood in their bathroom, Fox News reported.
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 documents obtained by the station.
Police Chief Dave Todd called Greywind’s death a "cruel and vicious act of depravity," reports said.
Crews is expected to be sentenced on Jan 16, according to reports. Hoehn’s trial is set to begin in March.
Baby Haisley Jo is now reportedly living with her biological father.