The female suspect in a pregnant North Dakota woman’s disappearance and death may have had an unsettling encounter with another mom in the area, according to a local report.
Roxane Cartwright told The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, that she thinks she crossed paths with 38-year-old Brooke Lynn Crews in September 2016 — nearly a year before Crews would be charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in connection with 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who vanished from her Fargo apartment building on Aug. 19.
LaFontaine-Greywind’s family has said that Crews, their neighbor, invited the expectant mom to her third-floor apartment that Saturday afternoon to help her sew a dress. LaFontaine-Greywind, who was eight months pregnant, was not seen alive again.
A newborn baby girl whom police believe is likely hers was allegedly found in Crews’ apartment, with Crews, on Thursday, leading to Crews’ arrest along with William Henry Hoehn, 32, who lives with her.
“My hair stood up. I knew right away it was her,” Cartwright, of Williston, North Dakota, told the Forum of seeing Crews’ mug shot on television last week.
Cartwright said she thinks she and her family came into contact with Crews at a Fargo restaurant last September in a “bizarre” incident centering on her young daughter.
Cartwright told the Forum that she, her husband and their four sons and daughter had stopped to eat in Fargo while driving back from Arkansas, where they had just finalized the baby girl’s adoption.
While they were waiting for their table to be cleaned, a woman who was seated nearby with a man approached her family, Cartwright said. She suspects that woman was Crews.
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Cartwright recalled the woman acting as though she wanted to hold Cartwright’s daughter and she repeatedly said, “She’s exactly what I want.”
“That’s my sister, Sofia,” Cartwright said her son told the inquisitive woman. To which the woman replied, “‘Sofia,’ that’s the name. That’s exactly what I want.”
“Her eyes were huge,” Cartwright said of the woman’s demeanor. “She was fixated on my daughter.”
Unsettled, Cartwright said she put herself between the girl and her cousin, who was holding the child. Other patrons noticed the incident, she told the Forum. Cartwright said she then took the baby and a blanket and begin to pretend to breastfeed her, as the woman continued to stare.
“It was the most bizarre situation I’ve ever been in,” she recalled.
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Three days after Crews and Hoehn were arrested last week, LaFontaine-Greywind’s body was found wrapped in plastic in the Red River not far outside Fargo.
Police said Tuesday that, according to an autopsy, she was killed in a homicide. But they have declined to release her cause or place of death or the manner in which she may have given birth.
Authorities have also declined to comment on a possible motive, though anecdotal reports suggest Crews may have had a fascination with young children and pregnant women.
LaFontaine-Greywind’s mother, Norberta Greywind, told PEOPLE that a week before her daughter went missing, Crews had allegedly tried to get LaFontaine-Greywind to come to her apartment.
“[Crews] had come down a week prior to this trying to get my daughter to come upstairs,” Greywind said. “I feel like I have a lot of guilt for not seeing this [coming] and not protecting my daughter. I didn’t think that she was in danger, I didn’t think anything like [this] could’ve happen.”
Crews’ sister told the Forum in a story published Tuesday that she was “blown away” by the accusations. She said she hadn’t been in regular contact with Crews for years.
“The Brooke I’ve been listening to or things that I’m hearing about her, just don’t seem like the Brooke that I knew then,” she said.
Of Crews now, her sister told the outlet, “She looks like her soul is gone.”
Both Crews and Hoehn remain jailed. They have not yet entered pleas to the charges against them.
Hoehn’s attorney, Steve Mottinger, declined to comment on the charges. Crews’ attorney, Stormy Vickers, could not be reached by PEOPLE. Neither Cartwright nor Crews’ sister cold immediately be reached.
• With reporting by STEVE HELLING