OCEAN CITY, Md. – It was obvious that the heavyset woman the paramedics found bleeding on the couch was lying when she said hadn’t given birth, authorities said.
But doctors at a hospital found proof that she had – and police found something even more disturbing on her property: at least four tiny sets of remains.
When doctors examining Christy Freeman found a placenta and umbilical cord and investigators confronted her, she responded with a bizarre account of giving birth to a dead baby with no hands or feet, then flushing it down the toilet, according to documents filed with the charges accusing her of killing the infant, a boy.
Police got a warrant and found a tiny corpse – with hands, feet and facial features – wrapped in a white and blue towel, stashed in a cabinet beneath Freeman’s bathroom sink.
The gruesome find Thursday was followed hours later by the discovery of two trash bags containing separate sets of human bones in a trunk in her bedroom, and another tiny set of remains a day later in a plastic bag in a small recreational vehicle in her driveway, authorities said.
“I knew them, and I never would have suspected this,” neighbor Todd Paulus, who has lived down the street from Freeman for about eight years, said Monday of her and her boyfriend as he watched crews with cadaver-sniffing dogs, shovels and a backhoe dig outside Freeman’s home. “You don’t know how deep people’s demons go.”
Police searching outside the rundown building just off the main drag through this resort town warned that the dogs had indicated more remains might be buried.
None of the remains found so far appeared to be those of full-term babies, police said, including those of the most newly delivered infant.
All four were believed to be from fetuses Freeman carried, police said.
“I want to clear my name in this case,” Freeman, 37, told a judge at a bond hearing Monday when she was ordered held without bail on first-degree murder and other charges in the most recent death.
Soon after the hearing, police said the chief medical examiner’s preliminary report found that the baby boy was stillborn, but the cause of death was still under investigation.
Freeman, who has four children, came to authorities’ attention Thursday, when emergency medical technicians and police were called to her apartment behind a 7-Eleven that faces the Coastal Highway.
Her boyfriend, Raymond W. Godman Jr., said that Freeman had passed out in the bathroom and that he carried her to the sofa, according to the charging documents. She was lying down and bleeding heavily, and had a garbage bag and towels under her.
The boy she was charged with killing was stillborn, and looked to be in the 26th week of pregnancy, police said, citing the medical examiner’s preliminary report.
The chief medical examiner in Baltimore was examining the remains and trying to determine the causes of deaths, ages and whether they were related to Freeman.
Freeman and Godman, who owned a cab company called Classic Taxi, lived with her other children at the home. Police said the other children were safe and were in the custody of Godman, believed to be the father of those four, as well as of the four whose remains were found, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said.
Ron Cecil, 71, owner of Aaron Taxi, said he had met Freeman through the local taxi association and he saw her driving a cab several weeks ago. The charging documents described Freeman as 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds, and Cecil said she often wore sweat shirts.
“She could have easily been pregnant and it not have been known,” he said.