After she was born in a bathtub, the teenage parents decided they couldn’t keep her, so he shot her twice in the head and buried her in the snow, police claim.
A 16-year-old Wisconsin boy has been charged with the murder of his own newborn daughter.
The body of hours-old Harper was discovered buried in snow in a hollowed out tree in the village of Albany on January 10, after detectives say they were led there by her killer and father, Logan T. Kruckenberg-Anderson.
Five days earlier, police received a call from a man who claimed his teenage daughter had just given birth in a bathtub, and that the father of the baby had taken the baby and had not been seen since.
When police tracked him down, he claimed he had given the baby to his friend “Tyler”, although he didn’t know Tyler’s surname, his phone number or where exactly he was from.
He claimed he had met with Tyler in a park and given him $60 to take the child to an adoption agency in Madison, some 30 miles away.
When asked how he knew Tyler, he said they had met through the “quick add” feature on Snapchat, and that they solely used the app to communicate. He claimed he had tried to call him several times earlier that morning, but Tyler had since blocked him.
The baby’s mother confirmed to detectives she had given birth at 9 AM on the 5th; she had even given her a name: Harper. She said that when Kruckenberg-Anderson came to her house later that day, they decided he would meet with Tyler and take the infant to the adoption center, the complaint states.
But on January 10, when police interviewed Kruckenberg-Anderson again, his story changed.
After the pair “decided that they could not keep the infant child and decided that they needed to do something to not have the child in their life,” the complaint claims the couple discussed several options, including dropping her off at the local fire department, or driving to an “adoption place” in Madison; but in the end they decided Kruckenberg-Anderson would get rid of her “by simply dropping it somewhere.”
He said he took the child, who was still alive and crying, and put her into a backpack before walking to his mom’s house, several blocks away.
While there, he transferred her to a bigger backpack, before heading to a remote wooded area. He said he tried to bounce on his heels as he walked to try to soothe the crying child in the bag.
After walking a short distance into the wood, police say he admitted to placing the naked infant inside a snow-filled hollow inside a fallen tree. When she began to cry, he said he covered her entire body with snow, and walked away.
“Kruckenberg-Anderson stated that as he walked away he could still hear the infant crying which caused him to emotionally break down, fall to his knees and cry,” detectives wrote.
He told them he left the area anyway. “Kruckenberg-Anderson stated that he knew that by leaving a nude infant child exposed and covered in the elements would likely cause the baby to die.”
But the story was to take an even more disturbing turn. After leading detectives to the spot, a crime lab employee examined the body and quickly discovered a gunshot wound to her forehead. A spent casing lay nearby.
The examiner “further noted that at the time that the child was placed in the snow, the child was likely alive or recently alive, as the snow surrounding the infant was deformed as a result of the body heat from the infant’s body.”
When detectives questioned him again, they said Kruckenberg-Anderson then admitted shooting the baby twice in the head. Forensics found two bullets lodged in the ground.
An autopsy concluded firearm homicide to a live-born infant.
A juvenile witness later admitted to police Kruckenberg-Anderson had given him a gun three days after the baby’s birth.
Kruckenberg-Anderson is being charged as an adult, with first degree intentional homicide, NBC15 reported.
Per Wisconsin’s Safe Haven law, a parent can anonymously surrender an unharmed newborn infant to any police officer, 911 emergency responder or member of hospital staff within 72 hours of birth, without any consequences.