Karin Luttinen

Karin S. Luttinen, 45, was charged on March 17, 2022, with concealing the death of a child in the Township of Theresa, Wisconsin. The infant’s remains were found on the side of the road in a wooded area outside of town on April 29, 2009. The autopsy could not conclusively determine if the newborn died prior to, during, or after birth, and was classified by the medical examiner as a fetal death. Baby Theresa was named after the town and given a funeral by the local community.

A DNA profile of the possible mother of Baby Theresa was developed from swabs of the trash bag the infant was found in, and blood on a maxi pad that was found with the infant’s remains. An analysis of the DNA profile of Baby Theresa indicated that the blood was likely from the mother of Baby Theresa.

There is currently no information on who conducted the FGG investigation. The final confirmation was made by testing the DNA of Luttinen and the possible father of Baby Theresa, referred to in court documents as Witness S. Both Luttinen and Witness S. voluntarily provided DNA samples to investigators. Witness S. states that he was unaware that Luttinen was pregnant with a child that he fathered. They have been in a relationship together since 2002.

Luttinen told officers that she was in denial about being pregnant, and that she concealed her pregnancy and gave birth alone in her bathtub. She then drove aimlessly along the highway and left the baby in the woods, wrapped in a plastic garbage bag.

Luttinen was released on a $2500 cash bond on March 18, 2022. The charges against her are pending in Dodge County District Court. She pled guilty on April 18 to charges of concealing the death of a child.

On September 16, 2022, Luttinen was sentenced to three years of probation, including a 6 month jail sentence. She was fined $5,000 and required to complete 60 hours of community service, as well as mental health treatment.

Sources:

Acevedo, Nicole. “‘Baby Theresa’ Cold Case Resolved After 13 Years, Authorities Say.” NBC News, March 18, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2022. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/baby-theresa-cold-case-resolved-13-years-authorities-say-rcna20738.

Arseneau, Kelli. “Mother of ‘Baby Theresa’ Found Dead in Woods Is Sentenced to 3 Years of Probation with 6 Months in Jail.” Yahoo News, September 16, 2022. Accessed February 13, 2023. https://news.yahoo.com/mother-baby-theresa-found-dead-215505064.html.

Bachara, Gabriella. “Milwaukee Woman ID’d as Mother of ‘Baby Theresa,’ Arrested 13 Years After Newborn Found Dead in Woods.” WDJT CBS 58, March 18, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2022. https://www.cbs58.com/news/Milwaukee-woman-identified-as-mother-of-Baby-Theresa-arrested-13-years-after-abandoned-baby-found-in-woods.

WBAY News Staff. “Woman Charged in ‘Baby Theresa’ Infant Death Case.” WBAY ABC News 2, March 17, 2022. Last Modified March 18, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2022. https://www.wbay.com/2022/03/17/dodge-county-officials-announce-update-baby-theresa-case/.

Keller, Aaron. “Wisconsin Mom Who ‘Didn’t Know How to Repent’ for Leaving Dead Baby’s Body in the Woods Pleads Guilty to Concealing Child’s Death.” Law & Crime, April 19, 2022. Accessed April 23, 2022. https://lawandcrime.com/crime/wisconsin-mom-who-didnt-know-how-to-repent-for-leaving-dead-babys-body-in-the-woods-pleads-guilty-to-concealing-childs-death/.

Perpetrator

First Name Karin
Last Name Luttinen
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-03-17
IGG Org nd

Victims

Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1669 n/a Baby Theresa NB 2009-04-29 Theresa Township, WI Dodge CSO Concealing a corpse, or desecration of human remains Guilty plea entered by defendant Dodge CO DIST CT

Last updated: September 19, 2023

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.