Court: In Cold Case 'Confessions,' Mom Admits Killing Baby
A Minnesota mother has confessed to leaving her newborn baby to die more than a decade ago, telling investigators, police, a co-worker, and a former boss that she left the infant in the Sibley County woods hoping, "the coyotes would take her off," according to court documents filed in the case.
Amy Romero, 29, was indicted on first-degree murder charges in Sibley County and arrested in January. She was extradited from Missouri, where she had been living since the death of her baby girl, whom she had named, Ava.
Romero is currently in custody awaiting a scheduled Sept. 11, 2012 trial.
In an order filed recently in the case, Sibley County Judge Thomas G. McCarthy denied a defense motion to dismiss the indictment for a lack of evidence, finding "there is sufficient corroboration of Defendant's confessions to support the Grand Jury's indictment for the charges against the Defendant." Click here to read the order.
In an attached memorandum, Judge McCarthy reveals details of the case never before made public. Both the prosecution and the defense have sought to seal many court documents.
In April, Romero's attorney, Anthony Nerud, filed a motion, "to seal and restrict from public viewing all Court documents, case files, and/or discovery... until the case has been fully and summarily resolved, either by jury trial or plea agreement."
An attorney for KSTP-TV intervened and after a hearing Judge McCarthy ultimately denied the motion to restrict information in the case.
In the most recent filing, Judge McCarthy summarized the case as follows:
In August of 2010, Romero allegedly told the administrator of the Missouri nursing home where she worked that "she had done something really bad in her youth." She went on to state that she became pregnant while employed in the Job Corps program in St. Paul. She told others that she feared she would not be able to remain in the program if she carried the baby to term.
In similar statements to the administrator; a nurse's aide; Cameron, Missouri police; and Sibley County investigators, Romero said she hid the pregnancy, gave birth alone, watched the baby girl for the better part of a day, drove to some woods in Sibley county, "found a downed log with a hole in the top... placed the baby in the hole, and heard the baby whimper as she left. She never looked back."
Romero is accused of telling Cameron, Missouri, police that she left the baby in the woods and, "I hope the coyotes would take her off." To the nursing home administrator, Romero is alleged to have said, "I suppose the coyotes ate her."
Court documents state that no remains were ever found.