When 22-year-old Savanna Greywind disappeared following a visit to her neighbor’s Fargo, North Dakota, apartment on August 19, she was 8 months pregnant. On August 24, an infant girl was discovered in the apartment of Brooke Lynn Crews and William Henry Hoehn, the last place her mother had been seen alive. Authorities quickly took the baby, believed to be just days old, into protected custody and arrested Crews and Hoehn on kidnapping-related charges.
On August 27, the body of Savanna Greywind was discovered by kayakers in the Red River along the North Dakota/Minnesota border. As CBS News reports, the remains of the expectant mother were found wrapped in plastic and duct tape. While police have not revealed a specific cause of death, preliminary autopsy results determined that Greywind died of “homicidal violence.” When her remains were discovered, investigators learned that Savanna Greywind had been delivered of her baby. Authorities have not confirmed the manner of the birth.
Brooke Crews and William Hoehn have both been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and giving false information in Greywind’s death. The infant discovered at their home was presumed to be Savanna’s child, but had been taken into the state’s custody pending a DNA test result.
According to a criminal complaint in the case against Crews and Hoehn, Brooke Crews admitted to manipulating Savanna Greywind in an attempt to steal her baby and hopefully keep it as her own. Crews told investigators that she instructed Greywind on how to break her own water in order to give birth and claimed that Savanna had done so and that she’d been alive and well when voluntarily giving her newborn daughter to Crews. However, William Hoehn had a different and more disturbing description of events. He claimed that when he got home on August 19, Crews was cleaning up blood in their bathroom and told him that the baby girl in her possession was now theirs.
“This is our baby, this is our family.”
Now, weeks after Savanna Greywind’s disappearance, authorities have finally confirmed that the infant found in Brooke Lynn Crews and William Henry Hoehn’s apartment last month was the murdered woman’s biological child. PEOPLE reports that Ashton Matheny was made aware of the DNA results last week. Per his attorney Krista Andrews, Matheny has now been awarded full legal and physical custody of his and Savanna Greywind’s daughter, Haisley Jo.
Andrews added that the baby has been in Matheny’s care since being released from the hospital last week. Under North Dakota state law, a baby born not to married parents or in a hospital may have paternity determined by a court order following DNA testing. She called Tuesday’s family court “shelter review” hearing a “formality” now that the DNA results in the case have been determined.
Ashton Matheny was the longtime boyfriend of Savanna Greywind, and according to the grieving father, he’s been looking forward to parenting his baby in the aftermath of Savanna’s brutal murder. Matheny calls Haisley Jo the “only good thing” to have come out of this horrific crime.
“I’ve been waiting to be a father for a while. She’s the only good thing that came out of this. She looks like Savanna.”
The proud new dad also released the first photos of his daughter on his Facebook page earlier this week. The images quickly went viral, as well as words of love and support for the Savanna Greywind’s family.
Attorney Krista Andrews says that Matheny has a “very good relationship” with Savanna Greywind’s family, including her parents, and that Haisley Jo spent time with them just last weekend and is expected to see them again today at a baby shower hosted by her law office.
The suspects in the murder of Savanna Greywind and kidnapping of little Haisley Jo remain incarcerated on $2 million cash-only bail each. Neither Crews nor Hoehn have entered pleas in the case, and their attorneys are not responding to media requests for comment regarding the identity of the baby discovered in their custody. North Dakota police say more charges are possible in the case.
[Featured Image by Fargo Police Department]