Found Deceased SD - Sioux Falls, WhtMale, UP17189, Newborn, born alive, Feb'81 *ARREST in 2019* - Baby Andrew

Discussion in 'Trials' started by rats, May 5, 2018.

  1. rats

    rats Where is Justice for the Jane and John Does?

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    Another recent-ish addition to NamUs. However, this case seems to get a lot more attention in the media.

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/17189



    https://www.argusleader.com/story/n...pe-dna-leads-parents-abandoned-baby/78762376/

    I wonder why they chose to use DNA for this baby but not for the other Sioux Falls John Doe (1995)... That being said, DNA is in NamUs.

    https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2016/01/19/man-haunted-memory-abandoned-baby/79020044/
     
  2. ghostINshell

    ghostINshell New Member

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    Awful what happened to baby andrew

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  3. Claireishere

    Claireishere Well-Known Member

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    .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Pennysmom1

    Pennysmom1 Well-Known Member

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    Arrest made in cold case!!!

    Police: Mother Arrested In 1981 Cold Case

    A 57-year-old woman is charged with first degree murder -- accused of killing her newborn baby in 1981. Police say Theresa Bentaas left her newborn baby out what used to be a cornfield -- near 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue back in 1981.

    Authorities say the infant -- who later became known as baby Andrew John Doe -- was wrapped loosely in a blanket. An autopsy says he was born alive and died of exposure. Authorities have been trying to find his killer ever since.

    Recently there was a huge break in the case.

    Detective Michael Webb, the lead investigator, says DNA recent led them to a Sioux Falls family tree, they continued to investigate and figured out the identities of baby Andrew's mother and father. They both still live in Sioux Falls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  5. iulia

    iulia Well-Known Member

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    Police Trace Mother of Newborn Found Dead in Ditch 38 Years Ago, Charge Her With Murder

    She said she had hidden her pregnancy from friends, family and even the father, according to a court affidavit cited by AP. Bentaas gave birth to the boy alone in her department, then drove to the cornfield ditch where she abandoned him.

    [...]

    The father of Andrew, Dirk Bentaas, is not facing charges.

    He admitted he saw she “had a bump and then no bump” around the time Baby Andrew was found, during a police interview in 2019.

    “(Dirk) Bentaas admitted to hearing about (Baby Andrew) being found but did not believe the defendant was capable of doing such an act,” the affidavit read.
     
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  6. aThousandYearsWide

    aThousandYearsWide Well-Known Member

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    Theresa Rose Bentaas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

    "Bentaas admitted to police that she had been pregnant when she was 19 years old and did not tell anyone, including the baby’s father, whom she eventually married."

    "She and Dirk Bentaas got married in 1987. They have two grown children, a daughter and a son."

    So she married him 6 years later.

    According to this article her reason was, "Bentaas was a "young teenager" when she gave birth, authorities said."

    She was 19 years old when this happened and legally an adult, not under 18 like a lot of the articles make it seem. Like this one that says, "it was determined that at that time they were young teenagers". JMO, the wording 'young teenager' makes me think 14-16 years old. Not a young legal adult. This might just be because I am young myself. She actually is the same age as my mom.

    I feel for her children that never got a chance to know their brother and her husband that never got to see his son grow up.

    Her mug shot is painful to look at. So much shame in her face. I'm sure she's been haunted by this every day since. 9 months is a long time to hold that secret, let alone 38 years.
     
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  7. Pennysmom1

    Pennysmom1 Well-Known Member

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    Baby Andrew cold case: Woman arrested in 1981 death of baby in Sioux Falls

    My heart is broken reading this:

    Baby Andrew’s murder has perplexed police and haunted certain residents for decades.

    It’s tormented the man who found the lifeless child, with tears frozen to his cheeks, and who still visits the child’s grave.

    A red wine-colored blanket caught the eye of Lee Litz while cruising in the passenger seat of a friend’s new jeep on Feb. 28, 1981.

    Litz asked his friend to pull over to pick up the blanket lying in a ditch near 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue, and he found the lifeless newborn swaddled inside.

    The newborn still had the placenta attached, and laying next to the baby was a pair of women's underwear, a shirt and Klennex-type material with blood on them, according to the affidavit.
     
  8. YaYa_521

    YaYa_521 Every Body's Name Matters

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    https://www.argusleader.com/story/n...kota-theresa-rose-bentaas-jostens/3102720002/

    Thirty-eight years after a baby who was found dead in a ditch was buried, Sioux Falls police have made an arrest in the case.

    Theresa Rose Bentaas, 57, was arrested Friday morning around 7:15 a.m. after police determined through DNA that she was the mother of Baby Andrew, retired detective Mike Webb said.


    [​IMG]

    Theresa Bentaas
    MINNEHAHA COUNTY JAIL

    SNIPPED

    Bentaas saw the coverage of Baby Andrew on the news but said that she "was in denial that she was the one responsible for that."

    When asked if she thinks about it when she drives by the area now, she stated, "of course,'" the affidavit wrote.

    Baby Andrew: What we know about Theresa Bentaas

    Timeline: How police spent 38 years trying to solve Baby Andrew's murder

    In most cases, Webb said he can assure family members of the victim that he's been working on the case and that he'll find a resolution, or a way to relieve their burden. This case was different, since the family was the person who committed the crime.

    But Webb said there was still justice for Baby Andrew.

    "I think his voice was heard," Webb said.

    [​IMG]

    May this precious little baby boy rest in eternal peace. ​
     
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  9. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAR 8, 2019

    https://twitter.com/VanessagKSFY/status/1104067617306886145
    These pictures were on display during the press conference. The one in black and white is of the scene in 1981 when officers were there after the baby was found. The second is the baby’s grave at St. Michael’s Cemetery. @ksfynews
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    https://twitter.com/VanessagKSFY/status/1104109369015390209
    The grave of Baby Andrew is uncovered with items left on it at St. Michael’s Cemetery. The baby was buried there on March 7th, 1981. @ksfynews
    [​IMG]
     
  10. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAR 8, 2019
    DNA leads to arrest of woman who allegedly left baby in a ditch to die 38 years ago: Police
    [...]

    She was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, police said.

    [...]

    The cold case first heated up 10 years ago as DNA technology advanced and investigators looked into obtaining DNA from the unidentified baby, Webb said.

    In 2009 the baby's body was exhumed and his DNA was put into databases, but over the years there were no matches, Webb said.

    [...]

    A possible match was found in February 2019. The suspect, Bentaas, still lived in Sioux Falls and police executed a search warrant to get her DNA, police said. DNA tests then confirmed Bentaas was the baby's mother, police said.

    The baby's father was also still living in Sioux Falls, Webb said.

    "We did interview them last Wednesday on the anniversary that we believe the baby was put in the ditch, on Feb. 27," Webb said. "It was confirmed that the baby was theirs."

    Bentaas is scheduled to appear in court on March 11. Her public defender declined to comment to ABC News Friday.
     
  11. jewelsmac

    jewelsmac No one really knows why anyone does anything

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    Amazing . So many cases are going to be solved soon. I feel that so strongly.
     
  12. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Heartbreaking all around. How did she feel, carrying, delivering, raising her later children?

    A crime, certainly, but Mom has suffered, I think.

    Leave any unwanted babies with a responsible placing agency, please!

    JMHO
     
  13. Pennysmom1

    Pennysmom1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a hard time feeling sorry for her, but I know I should try to have empathy. I just don't feel a 19 year old woman was immature enough to not know what to do in this situation. She should have known to give that baby up for adoption as she had time to think about it as her pregnancy progressed. She wasn't some scared 14 or 15 year old girl. And even in the old days, there were plenty of cases of babies being left on church steps or at someone's front porch where the baby would be found safely.

    This was murder in my book.
     
  14. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Oh, I agree -- and I was 20 when this happened.
     
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  15. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAR 9, 2019
    'I consider him my long lost son:' Man who found Baby Andrew speaks out after arrest
    As far as Lee Litz is concerned, Theresa Bentaas is not Baby Andrew's mother.

    Baby Andrew's family includes those who came after he died.

    It was the 50 strangers who attended the infant's funeral. It was the woman who christened him and donated money to ensure that he had a proper burial.

    It's Detective Michael Webb of the Sioux Falls Police Department, who visited the grave over the 10-year span he investigated the cold case.

    And it was Litz and his family, who claim Baby Andrew as their own.

    [...]

    He found the newborn in a ditch near what is now 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue on Feb. 28, 1981. He'd spotted a wine-colored blanket in the ditch as he and friends were test driving a new jeep. The blanket looked new, and it piqued his curiosity.

    But the memory of a dead baby, laying on his back, cold and with teardrops frozen on his cheeks, has haunted him for 38 years. So has the question of who could abandon the child.

    [...]

    The emotions that surround finding the abandoned infant have consumed his life. Over the next few months, he lost himself in drink to try and escape the haunting memory.

    Litz thinks of Baby Andrew daily. His wife was pregnant when he found the baby and he was already a father, so it shook him, not understanding why someone would leave their child to die.

    [...]

    Litz-Oestreich was born just months after Andrew was found. She's always considered him her brother.

    "He's our family. He has our name," she said. "Bentaas threw him away like trash. She doesn't get that."

    [...]

    "I'm so glad the parents have been found," Litz-Oestreich said. "It means justice for Andrew. That's what we've wanted this whole time was justice for Andrew."
     
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  16. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Totally agree. I was "young and stupid" too - but I gave mine up for adoption....

    [​IMG] so heart breaking....
     
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  17. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Monday, March 11th:
    *Arraignment Hearing (@ am CT) – SD – Andrew John Doe (Litz) (newborn, found Feb. 28, 1981, Sioux Falls, lying in a icy ditch) - *Theresa Rose Bentaas (57/19 @ time of crime) arrested & charged (3/8/19) with 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder & 1st degree manslaughter.
    Arraignment hearing on 3/11.
     
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  18. cvaldez1975

    cvaldez1975 Well-Known Member

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    Right. I was 19 when I had my oldest, while I was young I was NOT a “young teenager”. This was done for shame plain and simple. Poor baby.
     
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  19. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Bentaas murder case to be prosecuted under 1981 laws

    March 8, 2019

    "A Sioux Falls woman charged with murder and manslaughter in connection to the 1981 death of her baby will be prosecuted by the law as it was written at the time of the crime, the county's top prosecutor said.

    Theresa Rose Bentaas, 57, will face charges of first- and second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, as they were classified in 1981, said Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan on Friday, shortly after police announced the development in the 38-year-old cold case of Baby Andrew.

    There aren't significant changes, McGowan said, but his office will be applying the law as it was written by the legislature at the time of the alleged crime.

    First-degree murder is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison or death, which was the case in 1981.

    Second-degree murder is a Class B felony, with a mandatory life sentence, the same today as it was when Baby Andrew was found in a ditch by a passerby in the area that is now 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue.

    First-degree manslaughter in 1981 was a Class 1 felony, and it has since been reclassified as a Class C felony, with a maximum punishment of life in prison. Though the crime was reclassified, the sentencing parameters remain mostly the same....

    If convicted, Bentaas could spend life in prison or, if the state pursues it, the death penalty. The death penalty was available in 1981, but the code and aggravating circumstances were a bit different.

    Under current law, the murder of a child is automatically eligible for the death penalty. Back then, code wasn't written that way, but death penalty would have still been available under a subsection that says cases are eligible if it is "outrageously, wantonly vile or horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture or depravity of mind or an aggravated battery to the victim," McGowan said.

    While the death penalty is available, McGowan didn't say whether his office plans to pursue it. ..."

    Bentaas murder case to be prosecuted under 1981 laws
     
  20. Tippy Lynn

    Tippy Lynn Well-Known Member

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