Slain Pregnant North Dakota Woman Laid to Rest as Newborn Attends Funeral
Savanna Lafontaine Greywind was laid to rest Thursday morning
“It was a very beautiful service befitting of Savanna,” family spokeswoman Janel Herald tells PEOPLE.
Lafontaine-Greywind’s parents and her longtime boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, brought a newborn infant believed to be the baby that was ripped out of her womb, to the service. (Authorities are awaiting DNA testing to confirm that the baby, named Haisley Jo, is Lafontaine-Greywind’s.)
“It was wonderful that Haisley Jo was able to spend those moments along with her family, as well,” she says.
Nearly 1,000 mourners joined the slain woman’s family and friends at the First Assembly Church in Fargo, North Dakota, to pay their final, tearful respects to Lafontaine-Greywind, who was remembered as kind and loving.
After the church service, a horse-drawn carriage carried the casket to the cemetery for a private burial. Ten horses followed behind in the somber procession, including one that didn’t have a rider, signifying Lafontaine-Greywind, who according to reports was a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe.
The service included Native American songs and tributes, according to local news station KFYR TV.
Mourners wore red shirts to honor Lafontaine-Greywind and other murdered and missing indigenous women, the outlet reports.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said that the entire community “lost a daughter,” local news station KVRR reports.
‘She Loved Everyone’
Lafontaine-Greywind was eight months pregnant when she vanished on Saturday, Aug. 19 after walking upstairs to the apartment of neighbor Brooke Lynn Crews, 38, who had asked her to model a dress she claimed she was sewing and needed to pin, according to the Fargo Police.
She and Matheny, her boyfriend of 7 years, were expecting their first child together and were planning on moving into a new apartment in Fargo in September.
Her parents were thrilled that their eldest child was going to become a mother. “She loved everyone,” her mother, Norberta Lafontaine-Greywind told PEOPLE previously.
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When Lafontaine-Greywind failed to return home after more than an hour that fateful Saturday, her worried parents called the police, who questioned Crews and searched her apartment, finding no sign of the mother-to-be.
Several days after Lafontaine-Greywind vanished, neighbors in the seven-unit apartment building where she lived with her parents and 16-year-old brother, told police they heard a baby crying, noting they were unaware that a baby lived in the building.
When authorities searched the neighbors’ apartment with a search warrant, they found Crews with a newborn, whom authorities strongly believe is Lafontaine-Greywind’s baby girl but are awaiting DNA confirmation to prove that.
On Aug. 24, Crews and her boyfriend, William Henry Hoehn, 32, who police say also lived in the apartment, were both arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and giving false information to police.
Both Crews and Hoehn remain in Cass County Jail where they are being held on a $2 million bond. They have not yet entered pleas to the charges against them.
Hoehn’s attorney, Steve Mottinger, had no comment. Crews’ attorney did not immediately return calls for comment.
The pair gave authorities information that led them to believe the baby belonged to Lafontaine-Greywind, but the pair would not reveal where her body had allegedly been taken, police said.
Nine days after Lafontaine-Greywind vanished, kayakers found her body in the nearby Red River, wrapped in plastic and duct tape.
Police have not released details about when or how LaFontaine-Greywind died or how the baby was allegedly taken from her.
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The court has since sealed search warrant records to help maintain the suspect’s rights to a fair trial, local news station Valley News Live reported.
A preliminary autopsy report said the young mother-to-be was a victim of a homicide. The baby has been placed under the care of Cass County Social Services while authorities await DNA confirmation.
“Family was everything to Savanna,” the Boulger Funeral Home’s website says. “She helped raise her niece, Odessa, and nephew Shane Jr. Those kids were a huge part of her life and everything she did revolved around them. All of Savanna’s family and Ashton will miss her tremendously.”
A donation page has been set up for the newborn believed to be Lafontaine-Greywind’s daughter, Haisley Jo, at https://www.paypal.me/SavannaGreywind.