Sunday, October 26, 2014

Busted | Winnipeg woman charged with concealing deceased babies makes first court appearance

Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, is charged with concealing six infants in a U-Haul
CTV reports - A woman charged with concealing the remains of six infants in a Winnipeg storage locker made her first court appearance on Thursday.

A day after Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, was arrested outside her home in the north-end of Winnipeg, she appeared in court via video conference.

Giesbrecht was charged with six counts of concealing a body and one charge of breaching probation.

The remains of the deceased infants were discovered by staff at a U-Haul facility on Monday, in a storage unit being rented by Giesbrecht. Staff entered her unit because she had not paid her rental fee.

Giesbrecht’s lawyer Greg Brodsky said on Thursday that he was troubled that the Crown said an autopsy may have already been conducted on one of the deceased infants found in the rented storage locker.

Brodsky said he wants an independent pathologist to be present for the remaining infants’ autopsies, which he says should be videotaped as well.

“As good as people are, sometimes you miss things,” Brodsky said outside the courtroom. “And sometimes another set of eyes, if you’re acting appropriately, is not a bad thing to have.”

Legal notices posted in newspapers show Giesbrecht got behind on her payments on at least six different storage lockers between 2002 and 2013.

Court documents show Giesbrecht frequently fell behind on her bills. Eight separate creditors have sued Giesbrecht since 1993.

Most recently, an elderly neighbour took her to small claims court in an attempt to recover nearly $8,000 she lent Giesbrecht. The transaction also led to criminal charges of fraud.

Giesbrecht, who also goes by the name Andrea Naworynski, has been a volunteer at a Silaom Mission, a charity that helps the homeless, since April.

Executive director Flloyd Perras says Giesbrecht did not raise any concerns, and that everyone at the mission was shocked to hear she was arrested in connection with the deceased babies.

“The police have been here and have been talking to us,” Perras said. “They’ve asked us to keep the details … private so that they can do their investigation.”

Police said on Wednesday that forensic examination is required to determine if Giesbrecht is related to the deceased infants.

Investigators won’t say how long the remains were in the locker.

A bail hearing for Giesbrecht is scheduled for Nov. 12.

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