Best Friend of Slain Tx. Mom Held Her Hand During Birth — and Now She's Accused of Kidnapping Baby
When Vickie Shreves arrived at the hospital delivery room of close friend Heidi Broussard on Nov. 26 to help with the imminent birth of Broussard’s daughter, she saw another of Broussard’s good friends, Magen Fieramusca, there too.
The two women, along with Broussard’s fiancé, Shane Carey, surrounded the 33-year-old Broussard as she began pushing in labor. Fieramusca stood at Broussard’s right, silently holding the hand of the friend she met years earlier at a Bible institute, recalls Shreves, who was holding up Broussard’s knees.
“Magen was quiet. Somber,” says Shreves. “She wasn’t saying a word to her.”
At 10:12 p.m., Margo Elizabeth Carey was born. Minutes later, Fieramusca “just left quickly,” Shreves tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday.
“Without a goodbye she was gone,” Shreves says. “I knew something was wrong.”
According to Shreves, Fieramusca, 33, told her she was pregnant and due to deliver her baby within a week of the day baby Margo was born. Shreves says that, to her, Fieramusca did not seem like someone who was about to give birth. At the hospital, Fieramusca clutched a pillow over her stomach, Shreves says.
On Dec. 12, a little more than two weeks after Margo’s birth, she and Broussard were reported missing. Last Thursday night, Broussard’s body was found — allegedly in the trunk of a car at Fieramusca’s Houston-area home.
DNA test results are still pending on a baby recovered from Fieramusca’s home, but authorities believe the baby — who is healthy — is Margo.
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Fieramusca was charged Friday with two counts of kidnapping and one count of tampering with a corpse. She has not entered pleas to the charges. Authorities say Broussard was strangled but no murder charges have been filed in the case.
PEOPLE has been unable to determine if Fieramusca has retained an attorney who could speak on her behalf. She is being held on $600,000 bond.
“It’s so hard,'” says Shreves. “It’s just like, ‘It’s surreal.’ It’s like, ‘This is not happening.'”
Broussard’s mother, Tammy, tells PEOPLE that what happened to her daughter is “just unfathomable.”
“[Fieramusca} was supposed to be my daughter’s friend,” Tammy Broussard says. “We’re trying to make sense of it. Heidi has so many friends and she was supposed to be Heidi’s friend. Who does that to her friend?”
“But the thing is, I was uneasy with her,” Tammy says of Fieramusca. “And I had [been] from the beginning of her friendship with Heidi.”
Shreves’ daughter, Caressa, and son, Chris Fine, 41, were also close to Broussard. Fieramusca told multiple friends that she had given birth and was settling in as a new mom.
In a call with Fieramusca, Caressa could hear a baby in the background, Fine says. Now the family is horrified that baby may have been Margo. “My sister didn’t know,” he says. “She can’t stop crying.”
• With reporting by WENDY GROSSMAN KANTOR