April 29, 2009, a garbage bag was found in the woods near the town of Theresa in Wisconsin. Inside this garbage bag was the body of a newborn baby girl. She was deceased. The autopsy found that “Baby Theresa” was a full-term infant, weighing 8 pounds and 20.5 inches in length. There was no trauma that could have resulted in her death, and no drugs were found in her system. The manner of death was changed from homicide to fetal demise, Baby Theresa was a stillborn child.
Now police were charged with the task of finding her mother or any family. She had been found on a lone road near State Highway 175 and US 41. Residents close to where she was found were not related to her.
Members of the community came forward to support Baby Theresa after she was found. The Lowell Cemetery Association provided a cemetery plot so Baby Theresa could be laid to rest. Cornerstone Funeral Home and community members donated money and items to make the burial possible. She was laid to rest May 11, 2009.
The State Crime Lab in Madison analyzed the evidence and identified the mother’s DNA. This was run through the national database for felons and sex offenders to look for a match. Unfortunately, there was no results.
The case would go cold.
In 2014, authorities filed a charge against the then-unknown mother’s DNA profile to prevent a six-year statute of limitations for the charges to runout. A Jane Doe warrant for the crime of hiding a corpse had been issued. This would allow authorities to prosecute if/when the mother was found.
In March 2022, authorities cracked the 13-year-old believed to be from her mother helped authorities to find the baby’s mother and charge her with concealing the death of a child.
Karin Luttinen, 45, of Milwaukee, is being accused of abandoning her baby’s body inside a trash bag on the side of a road near the town of Theresa. Police were successfully able to identify Karin Luttinen, and her partner, as the baby’s parents in 2021.
Investigators had spoken with Karin in March of 2021, and she was in denial when she had given birth. She then put the child into a garbage bag and drove “aimlessly” until she found a wooded area where she left the baby.
Luttinen made an initial court appearance March 2022 and posted a $2,500 cash bond. As the case goes through the courts more details may emerge, but as of now there aren’t any further answers to the questions surrounding the case.