- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2007

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — All charges were dropped yesterday against a woman accused of killing her newborn child in 2004 and keeping other sets of fetal remains around her Ocean City home.

Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd asked a grand jury in closed-door proceedings yesterday to dismiss the murder charges against Christy Freeman, said Barry Neeb, an Ocean City Police spokesman.

Mr. Neeb said the dismissal came because of insufficient evidence after a medical examiner’s report.

“They decided that they were not going to hand down any charges, any indictments on Christy Freeman based on the evidence submitted,” he said.

Miss Freeman had been held without bail since July, when she went to a hospital with heavy bleeding and doctors discovered that she had recently given birth. Investigators found the baby — and three more sets of tiny human remains — at Miss Freeman’s house.

Miss Freeman originally was charged with killing her unborn child in July, but those charges were dropped after an autopsy showed that the fetus was stillborn. Prosecutors later charged her with killing another child in 2004, based on interviews with her.

Officials at the Worcester County jail could not immediately say whether Miss Freeman, 37, had been released. Mr. Todd planned to hold a press conference today about the case.

Kimberlee Schultz, a spokeswoman for Miss Freeman’s attorney, public defender Burton Anderson, said the defense was not surprised that charges were dropped.

“She’s always maintained her innocence, so we’re happy,” Miss Schultz said. At her first court appearance July 30, Miss Freeman pleaded not guilty and told a judge, “I want to clear my name in this case.”

Mr. Anderson was out of town yesterday.

The case was complicated from the start.

Miss Freeman said that the dead children were hers, but that she did not kill them. Maryland law expressly protects women who abort their own unborn children from criminal prosecution. It was not clear whether it was a crime to keep human remains of miscarried children.

The case began when Miss Freeman, a taxi driver and mother of four, went to the hospital in July after giving birth. Police searched of her home for the baby, and investigators found a recently deceased fetus under the bathroom sink. They also found three more sets of older human remains, two in a trunk in the living room and one in a Winnebago parked outside.

After an initial exam showed that the recent fetus was born dead, prosecutors dismissed murder charges against Miss Freeman but charged her with killing one of the children found in the trunk. That charge accused her of giving birth to twins on the toilet in 2004 and allowing one of them to die. That was the charge dismissed yesterday.

Mr. Neeb said the dismissal came after prosecutors got more information from the state medical examiner. There was insufficient evidence to charge Miss Freeman with a crime in any of the remains found.

“Everything truly hinges on the medical examiner’s report,” he said.

Mr. Neeb said no further investigation was planned.

“There are no charges pending or anticipated,” he said.

Miss Schultz said she hoped the public would leave Miss Freeman and her longtime boyfriend and four children alone. As investigators sifted through their yard in August, there was a report of vandalism at the couple’s taxi service.

“Given the high degree of publicity and sensationalism of the case, we’re hoping her exoneration will be as widely reported and that she and her family will be allowed to return to private life,” Miss Schultz said.

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