Theresa Bentaas Wiki – Theresa Bentaas Biography
Theresa Bentaas, a South Dakota woman, was convicted Friday of the death of her newborn son, according to court documents, ending an unsolved case that began when the boy’s body was found near a cornfield four years ago. decades.
The woman, Theresa Bentaas, 60, of Sioux Falls, pleaded guilty to Alford, which allows defendants to plead guilty without admitting the crime, to first-degree murder in a settlement with prosecutors that dismissed two counts of murder, according to the Second Judicial Court in South Dakota.
Ms. Bentaas had previously pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
Bentaas’s attorneys declined to comment Monday. The Minnehaha County state attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The charges against Ms. Bentaas stemmed from the discovery of a baby’s body on February 28, 1981, when a driver near Sioux Falls saw a pile of “burgundy” blankets along the road, she said decades later in an interview. with a local newspaper, The Argus Leader. The driver stopped to look at the blankets because they looked new, he said.
Baby Death & Investigation
An autopsy found that the baby had been born alive, likely the day before, and had likely died from exposure, according to the affidavit.
The researchers could not find the mother or the baby’s relatives. After about 50 residents attended the baby’s burial at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, the case cooled down. The baby became known as Andrew John Doe.
In 2009, as DNA analysis became more accessible and extended to the criminal investigation, detectives took up the Sioux Falls case and obtained a court order to exhume the body for analysis. The remains were taken to the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, where a DNA profile was obtained, according to the affidavit, which noted that the baby’s remains were reburied in 2010.
Through advanced DNA testing, a family tree was produced that led investigators to a residence in Sioux Falls, where Ms. Bentaas had been living, according to the affidavit.
Detectives found DNA in the trash at her residence and analysts determined that it “could not be excluded” from a profile of the baby’s biological mother, according to the affidavit.
In March 2019, the Sioux Falls Police Department announced that investigators, through DNA testing and genealogy databases, finally located the baby’s mother, naming Ms. Bentaas. She was arrested on murder charges.
On February 27, 2019, Ms. Bentaas told investigators that she in 1981 was “young and stupid,” according to the affidavit. She said that she had hidden her pregnancy from family and friends and that she gave birth alone in her apartment. She then took the baby to the roadside spot where they later found him, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said that Ms. Bentaas recalled feeling “sad” and “scared” and that she kept thinking about that night when she passed by.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2, according to court records.