NORFOLK, Iowa (TCD) — A 25-year-old woman and her 64-year-old father were arrested this week after investigators found her newborn child deceased in a trash bag on the side of the road.
According to a statement, on March 8, Norwalk Police received a call from a concerned individual regarding a child’s safety, and the next day, they found a dead baby on the 5300 block of Delaware Road. Norwalk Police learned the child’s mother, Megan Staude, gave birth at her home in February. Police allege Megan, “with the cooperation of her father,” Rodney Staude, left the child to die on the street.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner conducted the child’s autopsy, and the results are still pending.
Megan Staude and Rodney Staude were arrested for first-degree murder.
Court documents cited by the Des Moines Register say Megan told detectives she gave birth to her son Feb. 24, then left him in a box and didn’t do anything to care for him. Two days later, she and her father allegedly put him in the trash bag while he was still alive and left him on Delaware Street.
Rodney Staude reportedly corroborated his daughter’s timeline of events.
One of Megan’s co-workers reportedly called police to conduct the welfare check on the child. Megan allegedly told police her son died en route to the hospital and was buried in St. Johns Cemetery.
Investigators went to the cemetery in Cumming and “did not notice any disturbed ground or signs of a fresh burial.”
The Des Moines Register reports Rodney was the one who led police to the ditch on Delaware Street where they found the infant.
Detectives searched the Staudes’ home and reportedly found evidence that Megan gave birth there. One person reportedly texted Megan asking, “Was the baby alive when you left him?”
Megan reportedly replied, “A little.”
Megan Staude and Rodney Staude face life in prison if they are convicted.