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Pregnant Native Woman Murdered by Having Her Baby Cut Out of Her Stomach
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Pregnant Native Woman Murdered by Having Her Baby Cut Out of Her Stomach

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FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA — September 26, 2018

A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant neighbor by cutting the baby from her womb testified Tuesday that her boyfriend had pressured her to 'produce a baby'.

Brooke Crews  said in court that she had concocted a phony pregnancy to keep from losing William Hoehn, who is now also on trial for conspiracy in the August 2017 death of 22-year-old Savanna Greywind. The man admitted he helped to cover up the crime but noted he allegedly didn’t know that Crews had planned to kill the young woman and take her baby. Crews testified that she never 'explicitly' told Hoehn that was her plan.

Returning to that ill-fated day, Crews said Hoehn appeared surprised when he entered the bathroom in their apartment and discovered she had cut baby from Greywind’s body. Crews said Hoehn went to retrieve a rope and tightened it around Greywind’s neck, saying: “If she wasn’t dead before, she is now.”

Greywind’s daughter survived and is being raised by a foster family.

Hoehn spoke regularly with his attorney, Daniel Borgen, during Crews’ testimony but showed little emotion. Crews  was crying and sniffling the entire time.

"You never told Will that you had planned to do this, is that right?" Borgen asked.

"Not kill Savanna for her baby, no," Crews replied.

"In fact, there was never a conversation at all about killing Savanna and taking her baby," Borgen said.

"Not explicitly," she said.

It is still unclear what Crews meant by 'explicitly.' The couple dropped the charges against each other during the trial.

Crews disputed Borgen’s statement that she'd told a fellow inmate at Dakota Women's Correctional in New England that she had strangled Greywind. She also disputed that she told the same inmate that Hoehn and Greywind were having an affair and the baby might be Hoehn’s. She stated that she'd always wanted to have children, but it was difficult for her because of an undisclosed lifelong illness.

In addition, she noted that her relationship with Hoehn was rocky and violent,  and fueled by drugs and alcohol.

"He'd often come home with drugs. I didn't want to lose him that time," she said with tears.

She said they broke up at one point, and that’s when she had to lie to him about being pregnant. She went so far as to email him a phony positive pregnancy test and sonogram photo.

In early August, Hoehn told Crews he didn’t believe she was pregnant and said she needed 'to produce a baby.' Crews said she believed this was 'an ultimatum.'

"I was afraid. I took that to mean I better have a baby, no matter how it happened," Crews said.

Crews first told police that Greywind had given her the child. Then she told police they had argued and that she pushed Greywind down and knocked her out before cutting her open. A medical examiner testified Monday that there was no evidence of any head injuries.

Crews stuck to her last story during the Tuesday court, saying she pushed Greywind, who was knocked out when her head hit the bathroom sink. She colorfully told that the young woman fainted in front of her face she began to bleed. Crews first took a towel and wiped the blood, and just then she got a knife and began cutting the baby out.

She also admitted that the couple kept a bunch of ropes around the house because Hoehn liked to tie her up during sex, including around her neck. She also said Hoehn repeatedly expressed fantasies about killing people and Crews said she initially told him she would be interested in that too.

During the investigation, new information came out. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy, Dr. Victor Froloff, testified Monday that he isn’t sure whether Greywind died from blood loss or strangulation.

Greywind’s disappearance sparked several searches before her body was found several days later, shrouded in plastic and dumped in the Red River. Crews testified Tuesday that police missed Greywind’s body and her baby during three separate searches of the couple’s apartment.

Crews testified that Greywind’s body was in the bathroom closet and the baby was covered up next to Hoehn on a bed during one of those searches. She said Hoehn eventually moved Greywind’s body to a hollowed-out dresser and the two of them carried it out of the apartment.

It is very strange that during three searches of the couple’s apartment, the police were not able to find either woman, nor the baby, although it is known that newborns usually cry a lot, especially if you have their faces covered.  There is also the factor of smells, of both the body and the baby. During those three searches, they didn't look in the bathroom closet? Really? Or see any evidence of a baby? Clothes, diapers, bottles, etc. and in a small apartment nonetheless....

Fargo Police Chief David Todd did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Crews’ testimony or make the results of the search public.

Crews plead guilty to murder and is serving life in prison without parole. She said she hasn't reached an agreement with prosecutors for a lesser sentence in exchange for testifying.

Greywind’s death prompted North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to introduce Savanna’s Act, which aims to improve tribal access to federal crime information databases and create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and slain Native American women. A similar bill has been introduced in the House.

The murder is nothing more than a brutal massacre, and should be subjected to the most severe punishment. However, there are still many questions. Was there really criminal conspiracy between Crews and Greywind? What actually happened between the two women?  It is hard to believe that the version told in court could be accurate. Not to mention than even if unconscious, without anesthesia, most often the pain will bring a person to his senses. In this incident, the woman was unconscious from beginning to end, and according to the coroner's report, she died two hours after the attack.

Where was the man actually at during the time of the murder? What was his involvement? Many questions remain.

Author: USA Really