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A Texas woman allegedly hatched an elaborate plot to steal her childhood best friend’s baby and pretend the child was her own, according to new court documents filed in the case.
Magen Fieramusca is now facing charges of third-degree kidnapping and tampering with a body after Heidi Broussard’s body allegedly was found in a duffel bag in the trunk of Fieramusca’s car and the missing mom’s newborn baby was found safe and unharmed in Fieramusca’s Houston home, according to court documents obtained by local station KXAN.
Fieramusca had allegedly claimed she was pregnant alongside her childhood best friend and was even present in the delivery room when Heidi Broussard gave birth in November to her daughter, Margo Carey.
"Heidi spoke a lot about her, and it was really strange because Heidi would tell me that, ‘Isn’t it crazy that me and my best friend are pregnant at the same time, and we both have the same due date?’" Broussard’s friend Marie Castillo told local station KEYE-TV.
The day Broussard gave birth, Fieramusca reportedly drove to Austin to watch her give birth and then stayed at the couple’s apartment using a key the baby’s father Shane Carey later told authorities they had given to Fieramusca—but never recalled getting back, according to the affidavit.
When Broussard and her infant daughter disappeared just a few weeks later on Dec. 12, a witness reported seeing a person carrying an infant getting into a car. Surveillance footage captured images of a vehicle that appeared to match the description of Fieramusca’s car at the apartment complex heading toward Broussard’s apartment, the affidavit stated.
Fieramusca faked her own pregnancy to her former boyfriend—who believed she was pregnant with his baby—and others as the weeks went on before kidnapping Broussard’s baby to claim as her own, the affidavit claimed.
“Magen Fieramusca presented Heidi Broussard’s Newborn Child as her own to her boyfriend,” investigators wrote in the affidavit.
Fieramusca and her ex-boyfriend had reportedly continued to live with one another despite breaking up in March. Her ex-boyfriend would later tell investigators he believed she was pregnant and said her stomach felt “hard,” but that he had never seen her bare stomach because of the break up.
She would later give investigators conflicting stories about where she was the day Broussard disappeared. In one account, she allegedly told Texas Rangers she had gone to the beach with a cousin. In another she told investigators she had brought her newborn baby home that day after giving birth at a birth center, but she couldn’t recall the name of the facility, the affidavit states.
Her ex-boyfriend later told authorities she told him “don’t be mad,” and then told him she had given birth to the baby, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
On Dec. 19, Texas Rangers approached him while he was out buying baby formula and showed him a picture of missing Margo Carey, to which he allegedly replied “that’s the baby in my house,” according to the affidavit.
Broussard last spoke to her long-time partner Shane Carey on the phone around 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 12 after dropping their 6-year-old son off at school. Just after 9 a.m., surveillance footage captured a car resembling Fieramusca’s vehicle drive into the complex toward Broussard’s apartment.
A woman who lived in the complex would later tell police she saw two women interacting that morning and that one appeared to be carrying an infant, thought to be Margo. The witness was able to identify the other woman as someone who looked like Fieramusca during a photo lineup, the local paper reports.
Investigators also reported unusual search history on accounts associated with Fieramusca. The day Broussard disappeared, a person allegedly did a google search on “reasons for an Amber Alert” and “Amber alert issued in Austin” although no official Amber alert had been sent out in the case at the time.
Two days later, on Dec. 14, the account searched “bodies found in Austin Texas,” authorities said.
Investigators began to watch Fieramusca’s property before Texas State Troopers and Texas Rangers approached the Houston home on Dec. 20 and found Margo Carey inside. Broussard’s body was found in a duffel bag in the trunk of a car registered to Fieramusca, the affidavit said.
Authorities have said the missing mom had been strangled to death but no one has been charged in her death to date as the investigation continues.
Fieramusca is currently being held at the Travis County Jail on a $600,000 bond, CBS News reported.
Her attorney Brian Erskine said his client “remains innocent,” according to a statement given to KXAN.
“Ms. Jackie Wood and I are anxious to review the evidence collected thus far and have many of the same questions you do,” he said. “Those accused, as well as the public at large, understandably want swift and certain answers from our criminal justice system. We call upon patience and resisting the rush to judgement until all the facts are in. The cursory information contained in the recently released probable cause affidavit is nothing more than mere allegations. As with every American accused of a crime, unless the State has proven these allegations beyond any reasonable doubt, Ms. Fieramusca remains innocent.”
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