OCEAN CITY – Armed with what essentially amounts to a jailhouse confession, prosecutors are moving forward this week with first-degree murder charges against an Ocean City woman who has admitted letting her full-term or near full term infant die in the toilet she was sitting on when she gave birth to it in 2004.
Now two weeks after the discovery of four fetuses in and around the Sunset Drive home of Christy Freeman, 37, of Ocean City, there are still more questions than answers, but the one thing that appears to be a certainty is State’s Attorney Joel Todd now has solid evidence to charge the local business owner with at least one count of first-degree murder.
In an interview with Ocean City Police Detective First-Class Vicki Martin on July 27, one day after the discovery of the stillborn infant Freeman had just birthed wrapped in a towel under a bathroom vanity in her home, Freeman said she gave birth to twins sometime in 2004 and admitted allowing the first child, referred to simply as “Twin One” in the charging documents, to die in the toilet.
The startling admission dramatically changed the course of the case late last week when Todd abruptly dropped the first-degree murder charges against Freeman for the stillborn child she had on July 26, 2007 and instead filed first-degree murder charges against her for the death of “Twin One” in 2004. In the hours after the discovery of the recently stillborn child on Thursday, July 26, investigators found the remains of three more fetuses in and around Freeman’s home including two neatly wrapped in trash bags at the bottom of a chest in her bedroom and a fourth discovered in a Winnebago in the driveway.
In the interview with Martin on July 27, Freeman stated the human remains found in the chest were twins she believed she gave birth to in 2004.
“Freeman let Twin One fall into the water and did not remove Twin One from the water until it was dead,” the charging documents read. “Once Twin One was dead, Freeman removed Twin One from the water, placed it on a towel she had at her feet, covered Twin One up in the towel, then threw Twin One under the sink.”
That testimony was strong enough for Todd to abandon the first-degree murder charges against Freeman for the stillborn birth of the child on July 26 and focus his attention on the first of two twins born sometime in 2004. However, it was a dialogue between Martin and Freeman during the same interview on July 27 that began to paint a picture of the suspect as uncaring and indifferent.
According to the charging documents, Martin asked Freeman if Twin One was dead or alive, to which Freeman responded, “don’t know.” Martin then asked Freeman if she checked to see if the baby was alive and she replied, “I didn’t check.” When Martin asked Freeman if she provided any pre-natal care or called 911 or EMS, she simply responded, “no,” and when Martin asked the suspect if that was because it meant nothing to her, Freeman replied, “yes.”
In a subsequent interview on July 30, Martin went back to issue of whether or not Freeman knew Twin One was alive at the time she let it die in the toilet and her chilling, one-word response revealed she did know the baby was alive. “I stated the first twin was alive,” Martin wrote in her report. “Freeman nodded her head in agreement and said ‘yea.’”
With Freeman’s confession in hand for the death of Twin One in 2004, Todd continued to charge Freeman with the murder of the child stillborn on July 26 under Maryland’s rather flimsy and untested viable fetus statute, presumably while waiting for the medical examiner’s report on the other three fetuses.
Everything changed late last Thursday when investigators got the medical examiner’s report on Twin One. The medical examiner’s report indicated the remains were “consistent with that of a full-term or near full-term infant.”
According to Martin’s report, Freeman was unsure whether she wanted to talk freely to the detective on July 27, but relented after 12 hours in order to protect her longtime boyfriend, Ray Godman, Jr., and her four grown children from further scrutiny. “I am doing it for my kids, so you will leave them alone,” Freeman said in her statement.
Freeman also stated she took full responsibility for what she did and that she “was more afraid of what Ray and the kids were feeling, not what was happening with the police.”
Godman has been questioned, but is not considered a suspect in the case. The final medical examiner’s report on all of the four fetuses should be released at any time and could clear up unanswered questions such as cause of death of Twin Two; and whether the fetus found in the Winnebago was full-term or near full-term.
It remains possible further charges could be pending after the release of the medical examiner’s findings. A Worcester County Grand Jury will review all of the evidence including the medical examiner’s final report to ultimately determine what charges Freeman will be indicted on.