Megan Staude and Rodney Staude: Iowa woman & her father put newborn baby in trash bag and leave it to die along street in Norwalk. Child was alive when disposed.
An Iowa woman and her father have been accused of killing a newborn baby after disposing the woman’s newborn baby in a ‘garbage bag’ across town and causing the infant to die.
The Norwalk, Iowa police department in a press release stated Megan Staude, 25, giving birth to a baby in the last days of February. With the help of her father, 64-year-old Rodney Staude, the baby who was initially alive for a number of days was disposed of in a ‘trash bag’ along a street in the town and ‘left to die’.
Police began an investigation on March 8 after being contacted with ‘concerns for the safety of a child,’ and located the baby deceased on March 9 ‘along the road in the 5300 block of Delaware Street in Warren County.’
Come Monday, March 13, Megan Staude and Rodney Staude were arrested.
Megan and Rodney Staude were charged with first-degree murder in the newborn baby’s death, police said according to a Facebook release.
Megan Staude’s coworkers contacted police after becoming suspicious when noticing that she wasn’t pregnant anymore and finding that her story didn’t make sense.
Police said that the baby’s body was found a few miles from their house, the report states.
Law enforcement and professional volunteer searches assisted in locating the baby.
Mother and grandfather initially told investigators said the baby died en route to the hospital. Megan Staude some days later confessed to police putting her newborn baby son in a box and not providing care, according to a criminal complaint.
The mother allegedly told police that after two days, she and her father placed the baby in a trash bag while he was still alive and discarded the child on a street, the Des MoinesRegister reported.
According to a criminal complaint, a witness shared a text conversation with Megan Staude, in which the witness asked her ‘was the baby alive when you left him?‘ with the mother replying ‘a little’.
A neighor told of being aware that Staude was pregnant while saying they had no idea she delivered the baby. He added that news of the pair’s arrest was disturbing.
‘Honestly, I was pretty appalled. Not really surprised though, just cause the vibe they gave,’ Chris Hentschel told KCCI. ‘They were kinda weird.’
‘It’s just a tragic set of circumstances on a number of levels,’ said Norwalk police chief Greg Staples, who declined to comment on the specifics of the case. ‘That baby didn’t have the choice to decide his own fate and now there’s people in jail because of it.’
Officials say that an autopsy was conducted by the Iowa State Medical Examiner, with results pending. An investigation into the newborn’s death is ongoing.
It remained unclear what led to the mother and her father disposing of the child.
Iowa’s safe haven law allows a parent, or someone with a parent’s permission, to leave an infant up to 90 days old at a hospital or health care facility without fear of legal action for abandonment, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The Staudes remaiend held at Warren County Jail. Rodney Staude has a $1 million bond. Bond information for Megan Staude was not immediately available. If convicted, both father and daughter face a life sentence.