A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant neighbor and cutting the baby from her womb says her then-boyfriend told her that she "needed to produce a baby."
Brooke Crews testified Tuesday that she lied to William Hoehn, telling him she was pregnant, in order to prolong the relationship.
Crews said Hoehn didn't believe her and made comments about 22-year-old Savanna Greywind being pregnant that she understood to mean he wanted their neighbor's baby. Nevertheless, Crews said that Hoehn appeared surprised when he came home to discover she had sliced the child from Greywind's womb.
Crews testimony came during Hoehn’s trial. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the killing of Greywind. He has admitted to covering up the crime and pleaded guilty to kidnapping, but says he didn't know Crews' planned to kill Greywind and take the baby.
Crews is serving life in prison after admitting earlier this year that she cut Greywind's baby from her womb. But she testified earlier this month that Hoehn wrapped a rope around Greywind's neck to make sure she was dead.
During this week’s trial, Crews said police missed Greywind’s body and the newborn in three searches of her apartment. Crews testified that during one police search of the couple's apartment, Greywind's body was in the bathroom closet and the baby was covered up next to Hoehn on a bed.
She says Hoehn eventually moved Greywind's body to a hollowed-out dresser and the two of them took it out of the apartment.
Kayakers found Greywind's body in August 2017, wrapped in plastic and dumped in a river. Crews and Greywind had been friends, and Greywind had texted her mother shortly before she disappeared to say she was going to Crews' apartment for a sewing project.
Greywind's death prompted North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to introduce Savanna's Act, which aims to improve tribal access to federal crime information databases and create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native American women. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
[Photo: Fargo Police Department]