Mother of ‘Baby Theresa’ identified, charged 13 years after infant’s death

Police released a sketch of a baby who was found dead in April 2009.
Police released a sketch of a baby who was found dead in April 2009.(Dodge County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Wisconsin woman is facing a felony charge connected with the death of her newborn baby more than a dozen years after the infant died.

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, medical examiner, and district attorney identified Karin Luttinen, 45, as the suspect in the cold case that dates back to 2009.

Luttinen was arrested and charged with concealing the death of a child. She also made her first court appearance on Friday, reported by WMTV.

Dodge County investigators reported they found the body of the newborn baby in April 2009 abandoned in a garbage bag in the woods in the Village of Theresa, a town about 50 miles outside of Milwaukee.

Dodge County Medical Examiner P.J. Schoebel said an autopsy performed after the baby’s death determined that her death was not the result of a homicide and “Baby Theresa” likely died shortly before being born or during birth.

The autopsy concluded that the baby was not murdered and suffered no trauma. According to deputies, she lived for probably less than 24 hours, and a toxicology screening did not find any drugs in the baby’s system.

In 2014, the sheriff’s office and district attorney filed charges against the baby’s mother’s DNA profile, and a Jane Doe warrant for the crime of hiding a corpse was issued.

If convicted, Luttinen could face up to three years and six months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for the Class I felony, according to authorities.

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