The bodies of four small infants were found at the home of a woman who denied having been pregnant, even after she was taken to a hospital and doctors discovered a placenta and part of an umbilical cord, police said.
Police found the most newly delivered child, a baby boy, in the vanity below a bathroom sink at Christy Freeman's home, according to charging documents. A further search found the corpses of two other babies in a trunk in her bedroom and another in a small recreational vehicle parked in her driveway.
"They were not full-term children," Barry Neeb, an Ocean City Police Department spokesman, said of all the babies.
Freeman, 37, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter in the most recent death. She is the owner of Classic Taxi in Ocean City.
Emergency medical technicians and police were called early Thursday to Freeman's home, an apartment on the second floor of a building less than a block off the Coastal Highway, the main north-south route in this resort town.
Her boyfriend, Raymond W. Godman Jr., said Freeman had passed out in the bathroom and he carried her to the sofa, according to the charging documents. She was lying down and bleeding heavily, and had a garbage bag and towels under her. Freeman told rescue workers she was not and had not been pregnant.
She was taken to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, where tests by doctors determined she had been pregnant. Freeman maintained that was not the case, the charging documents said. After she was transferred to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, doctors there found a placenta that was between 30 to 36 weeks old and an umbilical cord with an "irregular cut."
Freeman eventually told police that she had delivered a dead and deformed baby — claiming that she did not see any hands or feet — and that she had flushed the body down the toilet, charging documents said.
Police said they then obtained a search warrant for the home and found the infant wrapped in a white towel with a blue stripe in the cabinet below the bathroom sink. The charging documents described the baby has a "viable fetus/infant," with hands, feet and facial features.
Police then found two other babies' bodies and a placenta in plastic bags in a trunk in Freeman's room. A search Friday of the motor home found a plastic bag with the fourth infant's corpse.
The search of Freeman's property continued over the weekend and resumed Monday morning with a backhoe at the site. Police described it as a "complex crime scene" and called in the FBI for help in recovering evidence.
Freeman and Godman lived at the home with her four other children, who police said were safe. Godman is not a suspect in the babies' deaths, police said.
Classic Taxi specializes in using cars from the 1950s and 1960s, according to the company's Web site. On the Web site, Freeman's profile said she and Godman had been a couple since 1988 and her hobbies were "our four children." She said the family were NASCAR fans and liked to fish, boat and camp together. Godman was described as a "motorhead" who, through the company, found a way to fulfill his dream of working on and driving multiple classic cars.
Freeman was charged under a 2005 law that specifically banned the killing of a fetus that can live outside the womb. Maryland's chief medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, has said that generally is at seven months.
She has been charged only with the death of the most recently delivered baby.
Of the other infants, Neeb said "the rest could be a number of years old."
Neeb said the four bodies were sent to the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore to determine the causes of death, their ages and how long ago they died. Investigators will also conduct DNA tests to determine whether the babies were Freeman's, Neeb said.
She appeared Monday in Worcester County District Court in Ocean City, wearing clad in a jumpsuit and wearing shackles, but a judge delayed a hearing until she had time to speak with an attorney. Deputy State's Attorney Mike Farlow also sought a delay, telling Judge Daniel Mumford that Freeman was still being interviewed by investigators.