Crime and Safety

A mom and grandpa are charged with murder after they left their newborn in a trash bag on an Iowa road.

The baby’s mother and grandfather were arrested and charged with first-degree murder after the baby was found dead in a trash bag in a roadside ditch in Iowa.

According to court documents, the boy was still alive when he was thrown into a garbage bag and left for dead.

Megan K. Staud, 25, from Norfolk, told police that her baby was born on February 24, according to an affidavit.

She said she left the baby in the box for two days and didn’t give him any care as he cried before she and her father stuffed the baby into the bag.

According to the documents, 64-year-old Rodney Stoud admitted that he helped his daughter get rid of a newborn near their home.

The mother and father first told the police that the baby had died on the way to the hospital after birth. Megan Stoud said she buried the baby in a cemetery in Cumming, Iowa, but authorities found no sign of a recently dug grave there.

Authorities were alerted by Meghan Stoud’s colleagues on March 8, who became suspicious of her when they noticed she was no longer pregnant.

The next day, law enforcement found a dead newborn on Delaware Street with the help of cadaver dogs, according to KCCI.

On March 13, a witness showed authorities a text conversation with Megan Stoud in which the witness asked her, “Was the baby still alive when you abandoned it?” and she replied, “A little,” according to the complaint.

“It’s just a tragic set of circumstances on multiple levels,” Norwalk Police Chief Greg Staples told The Des Moines Register. “This kid didn’t have a choice to decide his own fate and now there are people in prison because of it.”

Autopsy results are pending and the investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

Rodney and Megan Stoud are in the Warren County Jail on $1 million bail.

The authorities told the Register that they did not know who the child’s father was.

The Iowa Safe Asylum Act allows parents to place newborns 90 days or younger into the state for adoption or foster care without worrying about prosecution.

According to the KCCI, Staude’s house is now boarded up with signs saying “it is not safe to occupy it”.

Neighbor Chris Hentschel told the publication that the child’s death made him ill.

“We knew she was pregnant. We didn’t know she delivered it,” Hentschel said. “We had no idea.”

“Honestly, I was very scared. Not really surprised though, just because they created an atmosphere. They were pretty weird,” he added.

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