A mom and daughter are accused of burning and burying a fetus after the mother helped her daughter violate abortion laws, Nebraska authorities said in court documents.
The then-17-year-old daughter gave birth to a stillborn fetus in a shower on April 22 in Norfolk, Nebraska, KMTV reported, citing Madison County Court records. Investigators discovered Facebook messages between the mother and daughter about abortion pills two days before the stillborn birth. She was about six months pregnant with a due date in early July.
After the birth the daughter told her mother, 41, and they put the fetus into a bag in their van, Norfolk police said in court documents, according to KHGI.
Investigators said the women later buried the fetus with the help of a 22-year-old man, KCAU reported.
Norfolk police learned of the case after receiving a tip that a woman had miscarried and buried the baby, KMTV reported.
Investigators spoke to the mom and daughter on April 29, The Lincoln Journal Star reported, citing court records, and the women showed them where the fetus was buried.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office reported that the fetus had thermal injuries, according to KMTV. The 22-year-old told investigators that the women tried burning the fetus.
With search warrants, investigators accessed the women’s Facebook accounts, The Lincoln Journal Star reported. Court records said the women exchanged messages that suggested the mother had obtained abortion pills for the daughter, who stated she couldn’t wait to get the “thing” out of her body.
Medical records obtained by investigators showed the daughter was 23 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.
Nebraska law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The mother is facing felony charges of performing or attempting to perform an abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, performing an abortion without a medical license, concealing the death of another person, removing, concealing, or abandoning human remains, and false reporting, KHGI reported.
According to KCAU, prosecutors charged the daughter — now 18 and being tried as an adult — with removing, concealing, or abandoning human remains, concealing the death of another person, and false reporting.
Both women have pleaded not guilty, KMTV reported.
The man is facing charges of attempting to conceal the death of another person, KCAU reported. He pleaded no contest.
The man will appear in court on Aug. 23, the daughter on Aug. 29, and the mother on Sept. 2, KGHI reported.
Norfolk is about 125 miles northwest of Lincoln.