A woman from Illinois who is likely the mother of two babies found dead in the trunk of an impounded car pleaded guilty Thursday to leaving another child to freeze to death on the side of the road five years prior.
Katie Stockton reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder after her baby, Crystal, was killed in December 2004.
Joe Bruscato, Winnebago County State’s Attorney, is dropping other charges related to the case. Trial is set to start on Monday.
Authorities only discovered the dead babies left in her trunk after they arrested Stockton in 2009 for Crystal’s death. They found out her car had been sitting in an impound lot for a year and towed it to a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department facility, hoping to find more evidence for the Crystal case.
Instead, they found two deceased babies wrapped in cloth in two separate plastic bags.
They have tested their DNA and found Stockton is likely the mother of them. She has not yet been charged for their deaths.
She was questioned for Crystal’s death in 2004 after authorities found her remains in a plastic bag on a dead-end road near her parents’ home.
After she was questioned by detectives for the death, she lifted up her shirt and asked if it looked like she had just given birth, in an attempt to dissuade them that the baby was hers.
Initially, Stockton refused to give a DNA sample. Authorities found a way around that, however, as they found a cigarette butt they saw her discard and tested her saliva. The DNA from her saliva matched the blood found on Crystal’s clothing.
Stockton was arrested after the DNA results came back.
Other tests showed Stockton was the infant’s mother with 99.96 percent certainty.
When she is sentenced on April 5, she faces up to 60 years in jail.