Friday, August 19, 2022

Today in True Crime: August 19, 2022

 

(image source)

Today marks 5 years since the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, and the fetal abduction of her daughter, Haisley Jo. 

Savanna was 22 years-old and 8 months pregnant at the time of her murder. She lived with her parents and siblings in an apartment building in North Dakota. On the day of her tragic death, Savanna was lured to the apartment of her upstairs neighbor, Brooke Crews. Savanna thought she was going to try on and help modify a dress that Brooke made in exchange for $20. Unfortunately, Brooke's true motives were far more brutal. After Savanna arrived at the apartment, Brooke knocked her unconscious and then began performing a "crude c-section". Savanna died as a result, but the baby was born healthily. 

Over the next few days, Savanna's worried family searched for her, while Brooke and her live-in boyfriend William Hoehn denied any knowledge of Savanna's whereabouts. Police were suspicious of the couple, but they initially did not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant to search their apartment.

Finally, on August 24th, a neighbor called police and said they heard the sound of a baby crying coming from Brooke's apartment. Investigators then got their warrant, and they subsequently searched the residence. While there, they found a baby girl - who was later identified as the daughter of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. Both Brooke and William were arrested on the spot. Days later, Savanna's dismembered remains were found in the Red River.

Brooke was ultimately charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and providing false information to police. She pleaded guilty to all charges and is currently serving life without the possibility of parole. William was given the same charges. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and providing false information to police, but he pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. He went to trial and was ultimately acquitted. However, he was still sentenced to life in prison for the other charges. 

Savanna's daughter, Haisley Jo, is now being raised by the father, Ashton Matheny. 

[original case write-up] [extensive timeline on the case]

My thoughts on the case...

This was one of the first cases I wrote about when I first began my Tumblr page. It was ongoing at the time, and I was blown away by the circumstances. I remember watching an episode of Private Practice when I was younger that had similar circumstances...a woman attacked a heavily pregnant woman with the intent of performing a c-section and taking the baby for herself. I remember seeing that episode and thinking "this seems far-fetched"....but apparently this sort of thing is more common that I thought. A Google search of "fetal abduction" will lead to SEVERAL cases with similar circumstances.

This medical malpractice is inevitably life-threatening for both the mother and the baby. In Savanna's case, she sadly did not survive. The only good thing to come of this situation is that her baby luckily did survive. That young girl is now unfortunately growing up without a mother... but I am glad she is being raised by her father and has the support of Savanna's other family members. 

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