JUNEAU, Wis. (CBS 58) – Dodge County investigators have found the mother of an abandoned newborn nearly 13 years after the baby was found dead in a wooded area near the village of Theresa, according to the bureau. from the Dodge County Sheriff.
Sheriff Dale Schmidt identified the mother as Milwaukee woman Karin Luttinen. She is accused of covering up the death of a child.
Investigators identified the baby as “Baby Theresa”, giving her the name of Theresa’s village.
COLD CASE RESOLVED: The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office announces they have located the family of Baby Theresa, a newborn baby found abandoned in a trash bag in April 2009. The mother has been identified as a Milwaukee woman. @CBS58pic.twitter.com/ys1muF8yQ9
— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) March 18, 2022
“Until today, the community wondered if his family would ever be identified. Today we can provide that closure,” Schmidt said.
Family tree DNA results told detectives that Baby Theresa was related to the surname Luttinen, according to a criminal complaint.
“They used a (system), similar to Ancestry, which provided us with a family tree for Baby Theresa,” Dodge County Medical Examiner PJ Schoebel said.
When law enforcement asked Luttinen to take a DNA test, she denied ever being pregnant. The results would later confirm that Baby Theresa was her child, according to a criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint said Luttinen told detectives she never grasped the fact that she was pregnant. She delivered the baby alone in a bathtub at her Shorewood home.
She goes on to describe how she passed out after giving birth, but remembers seeing the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck.
Luttinen drove into the woods where she left the baby in a garbage bag. She went home and acted like nothing had happened, according to the criminal complaint.
Schmidt called DNA and genealogy huge advantages to their investigative process.
“When we get to those more serious cases, they will definitely play a role in those investigations,” Schmidt said.
Luttinen told detectives that the wooded area was meant to be a resting place for her baby, according to the criminal complaint.
The community came together to give a funeral for Baby Theresa in 2009.
“Certainly a lot of different emotions are going to be felt by the community here with this one, but at the end of the day, we have closure,” Schmidt said.
The criminal complaint concealed the identity of the father. Luttinen confirmed that neither he nor anyone else ever knew she was pregnant and gave birth.