SNOW HILL, Md. — Christy Freeman, the woman accused of killing her newborn child in 2004, said yesterday that she may sue county authorities after a medical examiner”s report concluded that there is no proof the child — and three other sets of human remains found at her home in July — were ever alive.
Speaking briefly to reporters, the 37-year-old Ocean City businesswoman thanked those who supported her after four sets of fetal remains were found in July at her home.
“I just wanted to say thanks to everybody who gave me a fair shot,” said Miss Freeman, who was released Wednesday after almost two months in the Worcester County Jail on charges of killing her newborn infant by allowing it to drown in her toilet in 2004.
Miss Freeman and her longtime boyfriend, Ray Godman, issued a written statement criticizing local authorities for charging Miss Freeman with murder after she went to a hospital earlier this summer with heavy bleeding and investigators found four sets of fetal remains on her property.
“The devastation done to her business and her reputation because of all the media hype could have been avoided” if investigators hadn’t “rushed to judgment,” the statement read. The couple appeared with an attorney and said they are mulling a lawsuit.
The charges against Miss Freeman were dropped Wednesday when Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd told a grand jury that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her. Talking to the press yesterday, Mr. Todd explained that a report from state medical examiner Dr. Tasha Greenberg concluded that there was no proof the babies were ever alive. Some of the remains were years old.
In a murder case, Mr. Todd explained, “you have to prove that the victim of that homicide had ever lived.”
Mr. Todd said the medical examiner concluded that because Miss Freeman had a history of stillborn births, because there was an infection present in the placenta of the most recent fetus, and because Miss Freeman was a tobacco user and possibly a cocaine user, the deaths could have occurred naturally.
“There was insufficient evidence to support an indictment,” said Mr. Todd, who said there will be no future investigation into further charges.
Asked whether women who miscarry are compelled by law to dispose properly of the remains, Mr. Todd replied that “there should be,” but then backtracked and said he knew of no such crime.
“Our investigation did not get into that,” he said.
Mr. Todd also said,”The office of the state’s attorney does not prosecute cases based on personal feelings.”
Mr. Todd insisted that he had no regrets about pursuing murder charges based on Miss Freeman’s statements before getting the full medical examiner’s report.
“Nothing was done wrong here,” he said. Later, he said, “Sometimes justice requires you to let the suspect go, and that’s what happened in this case.”
In addition to Mr. Todd, Miss Freeman and Mr. Godman’s statement criticizes Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, accusing her of failing to conduct a proper investigation before charging Miss Freeman and needlessly damaging their property.
Chief DiPino was out of town tending to a family matter and unavailable for comment yesterday, but Ocean City police spokesman Barry Neeb said: “We don’t find her complaints to be credible in the slightest bit.
“Our officers performed a very thorough, meticulous, professional and ethical investigation. Sometimes investigations aren’t pretty. Sometimes they involve things like digging up a yard or damaging walls in a house, but this situation warranted it. … We would not have changed anything we did in this investigation,” Mr. Neeb said.
The statement also names Worcester County District Judge Daniel R. Mumford, accusing him of wrongly postponing Miss Freeman’s preliminary hearing. Judge Mumford presided over Miss Freeman’s bail review hearing, but he said yesterday that he had no further involvement in her case and did not sign the postponement order.
After speaking to reporters, Miss Freeman and Mr. Godman walked outside and drove off in a gold 1966 Pontiac Star Chief, one of the cars in the couple’s fleet of classic cars used for their taxi service.
Mr. Godman called the case an [ordeal,” but the couple did not answer reporters’ questions about why Freeman kept her dead fetuses around the house or whether she had used cocaine.
The couple are parents of fourchildren. Mr. Godman said the couple would now try to revive business at their taxi service.
“We’re just going to get on with our lives and try to get our business up and running,” Mr. Godman said.
The couple said that the deaths of the babies were miscarriages and that authorities should have waited for medical reports.
“If an investigation had been done Miss Freeman would have never been charged with anything,” the statement read. “When it’s all said and done, the reality of this situation is, Miss Freeman had four miscarriages over a period of five years.”