An infant who was ripped from her mother’s womb by a neighbor last summer is being raised by her father, as her closest relatives still grapple with the fact that the child will never know her mother.
Baby Haisley Jo is in the care of Ashton Matheny, in North Dakota.
Matheny was the longtime boyfriend of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. In August, Greywind’s body was discovered after it was learned her neighbor, Brooke Crews, cut the woman’s unborn child out of her womb.
Inside Edition was given exclusive access to the infant and found a touching bond between the child, who is now 5 months old, and the mother she will never know.
Matheny showed his daughter a photo of her late mom, saying, “I will try to make her first words ‘mama.'”
Savanna Greywind was eight months pregnant and thrilled at the thought of becoming a mom. She lived in Fargo in a basement apartment she shared with her parents.
“I was excited to be a grandma,” her mother, Norberta Greywind, told Inside Edition.
Brooke Crews, who lived on the third floor of the same building, invited the pregnant mom to her apartment.
Savanna left her basement and made her way up to apartment no. 5. She expected to be right back because she left her cell phone behind and had also just ordered a pizza.
But her trip to Crews’ apartment was the last time she was seen alive.
“Immediately, my heart dropped,” Savanna’s mother said. “I knew instantly something happened to my daughter.”
The young woman’s disappearance touched off an all-out search. Then, three days later, cops raided Crews’ apartment and to their shock, found the infant alive, but Savanna was still missing.
“We wanted her found,” Norberta told Inside Edition. “We wanted to have hope. We wanted her found. We wanted her home.”
Eight days later, kayaker’s stumbled upon a gruesome scene on the Red River: Savanna’s body, which was lodged against a tree. She had been bound with duct tape and wrapped in plastic.
Crews and her boyfriend, William Hoehn, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Hoehn, 32, reportedly told police he came home the night of the crime to find Crews cleaning up the bathroom.
“This is our baby,” she told him. “This is our family.”
Crews pleaded guilty to the charges and at her sentencing last week, when the DA revealed she had performed a crude C-section on the pregnant victim.
“In Brooke Crews’ words, ‘I grabbed a blade. She was not dead when I cut her and took her baby out of her,'” prosecutor Tanya Johnson Martinez told the court.
Crews’ was evidently that she wanted to raise the baby as her own.
In court, there was a heartbreaking moment when the victim’s baby was brought before the judge as living evidence of the unspeakable crime.
“The person I owe the biggest apology to isn’t old enough to know,” Crews said in court. “I’m just really, really sorry.”
The victim’s emotional mother told Inside Edition she does not believe Crews is remorseful, “not one bit.”
On Friday, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hoehn, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, is slated for trial in May.