On Aug. 19, 2017, Brooke Crews, 34, murdered eight-months pregnant Savanna Greywind and slit open her belly to take her baby, Haisley Jo. Now, more than two years later, that baby is miraculously alive and well.
Greywind was 22 years old and a member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe. She was planning on going into elder care, and waiting to move out of the basement apartment she was sharing temporarily with her parents in Fargo, North Dakota, according to the latest episode of “Killer Motive.” She planned to live with her boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, with whom she had been for seven years. They were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child, according to the Washington Post.
Crews lived upstairs from Greywind, on the third floor of their apartment complex, with her boyfriend, William Hoehn. The couple fought often, according to the Post.The two women didn’t know each other very well, but that August day, Crews showed up at Greywind’s door and offered her $20 to come model a dress she claimed to be sewing.
Crews then led Greywind into her bathroom and shoved her so that her head struck the sink, knocking her unconscious. While Greywind struggled to come to, Crews grabbed a carpenter’s knife, slashed open her belly and pulled out the baby, Fargo’s InForum News reported.
At this point, Hoehn came into the bathroom to see what was going on. When he saw what his girlfriend had done, Crews claims he helped her finish Greywind off by strangling her with a rope.
Hoehn was sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and giving false statements to police. However, he successfully appealed his sentence, and is expected to receive a new one, Oxygen.com reported.
Crews was sentenced to life without parole, after confessing to the gruesome crime.
While all this was taking place, Greywind’s mother, Norberta Greywind, had been growing increasingly worried about her daughter’s whereabouts. After about an hour, she and her husband, Joe, went upstairs to find her. When Crews said she didn’t know where their daughter was, they called the police, according to People magazine.
Investigators searched Crews and Cohen’s apartment three times over the next several days and saw nothing out of the ordinary. On the fourth try, however, Fargo Detective Phil Swan caught a small movement out of the corner of his eye, Cass County Prosecutor Leah Viste told “Killer Motive” producers.
There, in plain sight, nestled in pillows at the head of the bed, lay Greywind’s baby.
Investigators rushed the infant into an ambulance and took her into state custody. At 4 pounds, 13 ounces, she was in astonishingly good health. However, it wasn’t until Sept. 11 — almost three weeks after her discovery — that DNA tests came back from the state and Greywind’s baby was returned to her family.
“It was a great day,” Greywind’s boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, told InForum News. “I actually started crying in the courtroom — tears of joy. I was waiting for this day.”
And, as of this summer, the baby is doing well with her father, despite the horrific circumstances of her birth, according to InForum News. Haisley Jo, now 2 years old, lives in a caring, loving home. Always an easy baby, she spends most of her time either with her doting grandparents or with Matheny, who loves being a new dad, according to People.
A public Facebook group run by the Greywind family frequently posts photos of little Haisley Jo playing or, recently, visiting her mother’s grave.
Haisley Jo now enjoys a “little stroller” with a little baby doll of her own in it, Matheny told People.
“I tell her to give the baby kisses and she kisses the baby,” Matheny told the magazine. “She pushes the stroller with the baby in it and she holds the baby. It’s really cute.”
Matheny and Haisley Jo had support from their community almost immediately following Greywind’s murder. On Sept. 1, 2017, a 3-year-old raised over $1,000 with a lemonade stand for the Greywind family, according to local NBC affiliate Valley News Live — and a GoFundMe campaign started that December raised more than $24,000.
However, the family is haunted by Greywind’s memory. “She would have been the best mom ever,” Matheny told People Magazine months after his girlfriend’s murder. “She was so good with kids.”
Gloria Allred, who represents the Greywind family, said — on the second anniversary of Savannah’s death — that Haisley Jo is a “miracle child,” who serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting equal rights and protections for indigenous people, according to Inforum News.
"I feel honored to have witnessed their strength and courage, and the joy that Haisley Jo brings to her family with her laughter," Allred told the outlet. "She reminds them every day of their precious Savanna, who will always be in their hearts."
Watch the whole shocking story of Brooke Crews’ murder of Savanna Greywind on the latest episode of “Killer Motive” on Oxygen.com, and catch new episodes Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.