PEOPLE Explains: Case of Slain Pregnant Woman Whose Newborn Is Now Healthy and in Father's Care
The baby daughter of an eight-months pregnant Fargo, North Dakota, woman found dead in a river last month is healthy and has been reunited with her father, who laid his girlfriend to rest last week.
On Aug. 19, Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, 22, went missing from her apartment complex. The following weekend, her plastic-wrapped body was found in a river outside Fargo.
Two of LaFontaine-Greywind’s neighbors — Brooke Lynn Crews, 38, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old William Henry Hoehn — have now been charged in connection with her death after a baby was allegedly found in their apartment. The newborn was recently confirmed as the daughter of LaFontaine-Greywind and her longtime boyfriend, Ashton Matheny.
Matheny told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that his daughter, Haisley Jo, is “the only good thing that came out of this. She looks like Savanna.”
Here are six things to know about the case and the latest developments.
1. Baby Discovered in Neighbors’ Apartment After Mom’s Disappearance: Police
LaFontaine-Greywind was last seen on Aug. 19, when she left her family’s basement apartment in Fargo to go upstairs and help a neighbor who was sewing a dress.
That neighbor, police allege, was Crews. LaFontaine-Greywind was not seen alive again.
Days after her disappearance, and after repeated searches of the apartment of Crews and Hoehn, police say they found a newborn there, which DNA testing recently confirmed as LaFontaine-Greywind and Matheny’s.
Crews and Hoehn were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and providing false information to law enforcement.
More charges could be pending, police say.
Crews and Hoehn are being held at the Cass County Jail in North Dakota in lieu of $2 million bail. They have not yet entered pleas.
Calls seeking comment from their attorneys have not been returned.
2. LaFontaine-Greywind’s Remains Were Found In Red River
On Aug. 27, two recreational kayakers discovered the mother-to-be’s body wrapped in plastic and duct tape in the Red River near Harwood, North Dakota, outside Fargo, According to police, the body was hung on a log.
“Our hearts are heavy as we morn the loss of this young lady,” Fargo Police Chief David Todd said in a news conference the following morning.
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Autopsy results and a possible motive have not yet been released, but investigators have said LaFontaine-Greywind’s death was a homicide.
3. Crews Allegedly Told Hoehn, ‘This Is Our Baby’
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Hoehn allegedly told police he arrived home from work on Aug. 19 to find Crews cleaning up blood in the bathroom of their apartment. She was also holding a baby girl and allegedly told him, “This is our baby, this is our family,” the documents state.
Hoehn allegedly told police he removed garbage bags containing bloody towels and his own bloody shoes and allegedly left them in a dumpster in West Fargo, the documents state.
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Crews claimed to detectives that she had invited LaFontaine-Greywind to her apartment and taught the pregnant woman how to self-induce birth by breaking her own water, according to the documents.
Crews claimed LaFontaine-Greywind gave her the baby on Aug. 21 — two days after she had vanished from their apartment building.
4. Police Have Not Revealed How the Baby Was Removed from the Womb
Authorities have not revealed how LaFontaine-Greywind gave birth to Haisley Jo, but Matheny told local news station Valley News Live that the baby is healthy, which Matheny’s attorney, Krista Andrews, confirmed to PEOPLE.
Last Thursday, Mathey and LaFontaine-Greywind’s family brought Haisley Jo to her mother’s funeral in Fargo, which was attended by hundreds of mourners.
5. Victim’s Boyfriend Granted Custody of Baby: ‘She Looks Like Savanna’
Haisley Jo is “doing great,” Krista Andrews said. “She’s just a beautiful, perfect little baby.”
“I’ve been waiting to be a father for a while,” Matheny told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “She’s the only good thing that came out of this. She looks like Savanna.”
Previously, Matheny told the Forum News Service, “All I wanted was a life with Savanna and my baby, but they took it from me.” He added, “My world’s gone, man. They took my world from me.”
6. LaFontaine-Greywind ‘Would Have Been a Wonderful Mom’
In an interview with PEOPLE, LaFontaine-Greywind’s mother, Norberta Greywind, described her daughter as someone with a “big heart, she loved everyone. She loved kids, family, yeah. She would have been a wonderful mom.”
Asked what she will tell her granddaughter, Greywind said, “That her mom loved her and wanted her and it was, we were all excited and her mom was a wonderful person.”