Woman Who Kidnapped Best Friend's Baby Strangled the New Mom with a Leash, Police Say
The Texas woman who allegedly strangled her longtime friend and kidnapped her newborn to claim her as her own has been indicted on charges of capital murder and kidnapping.
Released on Tuesday, the one-page indictment obtained by PEOPLE alleges that Magen Fieramusca, 34, asphyxiated Heidi Broussard, 33, by “ligature strangulation” — with “a leash” and with “her hands.”
After an intense search, the infant was found alive a week later in the Houston-area home where Fieramusca was living, say authorities.
Broussard’s body was discovered inside the trunk of a vehicle in the driveway of the home.
Shortly after, Fieramusca was arrested and charged with two counts of kidnapping and tampering with a corpse.
In early January, the baby was reunited with her father and brother after being held for a DNA test in order to positively identify her.
Following a more than month-long investigation, a grand jury in Travis County indicted Fieramusca on murder and kidnapping charges.
She faces the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of capital murder, the Austin Statesman reports.
She remains held in the Travis County Jail on a bond set at $1 million for the capital murder charge and $100,000 on the kidnapping charge, according to a news release from the Travis County District Attorney’s office.
For months, Fieramusca pretended to be pregnant at the same time as Broussard, court records obtained by PEOPLE claim.
She even set up a fake baby registry.
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Fieramusca’s attorney, Brian Erskine, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In a statement to CNN, he said, “Exculpatory and mitigating evidence has a shelf-life, and too many individuals in our criminal justice system have been delayed or denied this information.
“We cannot act to fairly and vigorously represent our Client when we start defending her with our hands tied and eyes blindfolded. Justice ought to be blind, not the defense.”