A Wisconsin teenager has been accused of taking his newborn baby daughter out into the woods, burying her naked in the snow and firing two gunshots into her head before leaving her body in a hollowed-out tree.
The Green County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that Logan T. Kruckenberg, 16, has been charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of his daughter, who had been named “Harper.”
Green County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Village of Albany home of the baby’s mother, identified in criminal complaint as a “juvenile female in her early teens,” around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday by the teen’s father, who told authorities that his daughter had given birth in the bathtub on Jan. 5, and the father of the infant had taken the baby away and they had never seen her again.
Investigators contacted Kruckenberg, who initially told authorities that he had given the newborn baby to a friend named “Tyler” the same day he took her. He claimed to have paid the friend, who he met online through Snapchat, $60 to take the baby to an adoption agency in Madison. But Kruckenberg was unable to provide basic details about the alleged friend, including his last name, phone number or home address, according to the criminal complaint.
The baby’s mother told police that after she had given birth, Kruckenberg came to the house to take the baby, who she described as having dark brown or black hair and dark blue eyes. She said the two had discussed several options of what to do with the baby, including “dropping it off at a local fire department” or taking it to Madison to drop her at “an adoption place.”
In a follow-up interview with Kruckenberg, he allegedly told authorities that the pair had decided he would “get rid of the infant by simply dropping it somewhere” and said that he had carried the newborn in his backpack to his mother’s house, where he put it into a bigger backpack and went to a “remote wooded area” of the Village of Albany, according to the criminal complaint.
He allegedly told authorities that he placed the infant nude in a small area inside a fallen tree that had been filled with snow. The infant began to cry, but he continued to pack snow around the infant’s entire body before walking away, authorities said.
As he walked away, he could still hear the infant crying, “which caused him to emotionally break down, fall to his knees and cry,” according to the court documents.
Kruckenberg told investigators he “knew that by leaving the nude infant child exposed and covered in the elements (it) would likely cause the baby to die,” the complaint alleged.
Authorities said Kruckenberg directed them to the “exact area” where they would find the baby and they discovered her remains, which showed a “gunshot wound to the forehead.” A spent shell casing was found nearby.
In a follow up interview with Kruckenberg on Sunday, authorities said he admitted “placing the baby into the snow-covered area in the tree and shooting the baby twice in the head with a firearm.”
Detectives later discovered a second spent shell casing inside the backpack that Kruckenberg had used to carry the infant, according to authorities.
During the autopsy, a medical examiner was able to determine that the gunshots had been fired into a “live-born infant,” according to the criminal complaint.
Kruckenberg is currently being held at the Rock County Juvenile Detention Center on a $1 million bond.
If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars, local station WTMJ-TV.
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