Woman charged 38 years after Baby Andrew was left to die


A woman has been charged in connection with her dead baby found in a ditch 38 years ago.

Theresa Rose Bentaas, 57, was charged with the murder and manslaughter of the child, who came to be known as Baby Andrew.

Police had been able to get the baby’s DNA after his body was exhumed 10 years ago.

Using genealogy websites, they developed a family tree which led them to his mother Bentaas, who was arrested on Friday.

Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, say the baby had been alive when he was left in a cornfield ditch in 1981.

He died of exposure.

The mystery of the baby’s death had gripped the small town and around 50 people had attended his funeral a week after his body was discovered.

According to an affidavit quoted in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Bentaas had seen coverage of the baby on the news but had said she “was in denial that she was the one responsible for that”.

She had been “sad and scared” when she drove away from the ditch leaving the infant behind, according to the affidavit.

Bentaas was 19 at the time and she later married the baby’s father. The couple now have two adult children.

Retired detective Mike Webb said the baby’s father was not involved in his death.

(c) Sky News 2019: Woman charged 38 years after Baby Andrew was left to die

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