OCEAN CITY, Md. — Experts examined genetic material from four tiny bodies discovered at the Ocean City home as investigators resumed digging Tuesday with bulldozers in a vacant lot next door.
The woman who lives in the modest home, taxi service owner Christy Freeman, was charged with murder after her newborn son was found wrapped in a bloodied towel under a bathroom vanity.
As investigators searched the home, they found three more pre-term infants, two in a garbage bag with what appeared to be a placenta hidden in a bedroom trunk and another in a garbage bag in a mobile home parked outside.
Cadaver dogs also indicated there could be more human remains in the yard, but only the remains of a dog had been found Tuesday morning, said Ocean City Police spokesman Barry Neeb.
“We don’t have an expectation we’re going to find something. We just want to be thorough in our investigation,” he said. He said the search should wrap up Wednesday.
The state medical examiner’s preliminary report on the newborn found under the sink determined it was a boy in about the 26th week of pregnancy, and medical examiners “believe the child was stillborn,” a release from police said. But the investigation was still under way into both the cause of that death and whether all four dead infants were related to Freeman.
Mother professes innocence
The grisly discoveries came to light after Freeman, 37, was admitted to a hospital with heavy bleeding late last week. Doctors found evidence of a recent pregnancy but no baby.
Freeman, who at first denied being pregnant, was being held without bail Tuesday awaiting an Aug. 27 preliminary hearing. It was through interviews with her that authorities came to believe she caused the newborn boy’s death, Neeb said.
“It was something she said. I can’t expand on that,” he said.
At a bail hearing Monday, Freeman, who has four living children, professed her innocence but did not offer any explanation about the human remains in her home.
“I want to clear my name in this case,” she said.
Her longtime boyfriend and the father of their four children, Raymond W. Godman Jr., has not been charged, and the children were in his custody. “At this point, he is not a suspect, but we are not ruling anyone out,” Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said.
Murder charges sought
According to prosecutors, Godman said he found his girlfriend bleeding in the bathroom last Thursday. When rescuers arrived, Freeman told them she was not and had not recently been pregnant, according to prosecutors.
Later, however, she told police she had delivered a deformed baby — she called it “gloopity glop” — and had flushed the remains down the toilet. According to prosecutors, the baby was viable, with hands, feet and facial features. A 2005 Maryland law allows murder charges against someone who causes the death of a fetus considered viable.
Worcester County state’s attorney Joel Todd said the state will use that statute to pursue the murder charges.
“We will have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she did something to cause that baby to be stillborn,” Todd said Monday.
Authorities offered few details to explain why they thought the pre-term infants belonged to Freeman or why they think she murdered at least one. Murder charges were filed before a medical examiner’s report was complete.
Prosecutors also would not say how far along the other three infants were when they died, although none was thought to be a full-term baby.
The police chief said domestic violence experts planned to examine Freeman, who had bruises on her body.
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