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She had the baby alone in her apartment, she told police, before driving to the South Sycamore Avenue ditch.
She said she had seen the news coverage in 1981 about the baby’s funeral, attended by about 50 strangers, but that she did not want to believe that was her baby.
“This was the first tip in 38 years that got us anywhere close to the baby’s identity,” he said.
In recent months and years, genetic genealogy has revolutionized how police crack decades-old cold cases.
That year, Webb decided to exhume the baby’s body, which was the only way forward he saw in the case.
In the immediate aftermath of the baby’s death, the community mourned him as if he were its own child, the Argus Leader reported in 1981. They gave him a funeral and a casket, decorated with carnations and a pin on his pajamas that said “You are loved.” They even gave him toys, a stuffed black poodle and a tiny teddy bear, which would be buried with the child at a ceremony attended by dozens, including Litz.In interviews, police learned that the father didn’t know about his dead child.Bentaas told police she was “young and stupid," and had kept the pregnancy a secret from family and friends, according to an affidavit cited in the Argus Leader.She and her husband now have two living adult children, the Argus Leader reported. About 10 years ago, we started taking a new look at this case to see what we could do, given advancement in technology and DNA.” Back in 1981, Webb said police “ran out of leads very quickly." Women identified as possible suspects by tipsters either turned out to be still pregnant, or they answered the door with a baby in their arms, easily ruling them out as culprits.“I know it sounds cliche, but we don’t quit on these,” Webb said. Despite continued media attention on the case over the years, it wasn’t until 2009 that the investigation really took a turn.
She was “in denial,” she told police, according to the affidavit.