Katie Stockton has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2004 death of a child known as "Baby Crystal."
An Illinois woman has admitted to wrapping her infant daughter in plastic bags and dumping her on the side of the road to freeze to death. Katie Stockton, who is also believed to be the mother of two infants found dead in the trunk of an impounded car, admitted Thursday to leaving the baby girl along a rural roadside nearly five years ago.
After reaching an agreement with prosecutors, Stockton pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the December 2004 death of the infant known as Baby Crystal, who authorities believe is Stockton’s daughter.
Katie Stockton, 32, of Rockton Illinois, will likely avoid prosecution on the two other infant daughters that were found dead inside plastic bags in the truck of her car because detectives cannot actually prove that the babies were born alive.
It was after Stockton was arrested for Baby Chrystal’s death that investigators discovered her car had been sitting in an impound lot for over one year. Police impounded her car, towing it to a Winnebago County Sherriff’s Department facility to search for more clues in the Baby Crystal case. Stockton was carrying the skeletons of the babies in the trunk of her car when she was stopped for a traffic violation in 2008. The babies in the trunk were born full-term from separate pregnancies and were each wrapped in cloth and placed into separate plastic bags.
For five years, Stockton played a cat-and-mouse game with police and avoided being arrested for the death of Baby Crystal. She was finally charged in 2009 after officers tested the DNA from one of her discarded cigarette butts and concluded that she was the mother of Baby Crystal.
Stockton had previously denied that she had left the infant to die in the freezing cold on December 17, 2004, and had refused to cooperate with police.
Stockton was originally questioned in Baby Crystal's death in 2004 after the newborn's frozen remains were discovered in a plastic bag along a dead-end road near her parents' home. Prosecutors said that when detectives interviewed Stockton hours after the discovery, she lifted her shirt and asked if she looked like she had just given birth.
Police say that they do not know how long ago Stockton actually gave birth to the two babies found in the trunk or how long they had been in the back of her Saturn sedan.
Stockton also has a son, who is 11-years old. All of her pregnancies came from different fathers, authorities concluded.
Stockton faces up to 60 years in prison when she is sentenced April 5.