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Wisconsin authorities crack 2009 ‘Baby Theresa’ cold case

JUNEAU, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in Wisconsin say the cold case of “Baby Theresa” — whose body was found in 2009 — has been solved after 13 years.

Dodge County authorities said Friday that DNA samples from the baby helped them track down the girl’s mother. They used DNA from genealogy services to narrow down the baby’s likely relatives.

Test results identified the mother as Karin Luttinen, of Milwaukee, and her partner as the baby’s father. She is charged with concealing the death of a child. Tests determined the baby was likely stillborn.

Luttinen, 45, made an initial court appearance Friday and posted a $2,500 cash bond, WLUK-TV reported.

“Baby Theresa” was found April 29, 2009, in the village of Theresa. Her body was found in a trash bag about 3 miles from what is now Interstate 41.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators talked to Luttinen in March 2021. She admitted giving birth at home, but said she was in denial that she was pregnant. She said she put the baby’s body in a garbage bag and then drove “aimlessly” on what was then U.S. Highway 41.

She told investigators she found a wooded area and left the baby’s body in the bag there. About a month after the baby was discovered, community members paid for her burial and held a funeral.

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