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Woman Guilty of Concealing 6 Dead Infants in a Winnipeg, Canada, U-Haul Self-Storage Unit

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Update 2/7/17 – A judge has convicted Andrea Giesbrecht on six counts of concealing the body of a dead child. Provincial court judge Murray Thompson ruled Giesbrecht purposefully hid her pregnancies and delivery of the infants. Though the defense argued the woman put the bodies in the self-storage unit to keep them, Thompson said failing to pay rent and registering the unit under her maiden name with an incorrect address indicated otherwise, according to the source.

“All of her actions lead to one conclusion: that Giesbrecht was aware that these children were likely to have been born alive and she wished to conceal the fact of their birth,” Thompson said in his ruling.

The judge also said Giesbrecht understood pregnancy and delivering babies because she had two children born in hospitals. She also had 10 legal abortions, the source reported.

Giesbrecht wasn’t charged with killing the children. Though Thompson said the infants were likely born alive, medical experts couldn’t determine their causes of death. Some of the bodies were badly decomposed when they were discovered, according to the source.

Each of the six counts of concealment carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.


7/19/16 – The trial of Andrea Giesbrecht, the woman accused of concealing the remains of six infants in a U-Haul self-storage unit, has resumed after a two-month hiatus due to scheduling conflicts. Giesbrecht’s son, whose name is being withheld due to a publication ban, testified on Monday that he didn’t recall seeing his mother pregnant or notice changes in her weight, according to sources.

Before Giesbrecht's son took the witness stand, her husband and the boy’s father, Jeremy Giesbrecht, held up proceedings for about 10 minutes while arguing with prosecutors. “We have a right not to answer your questions," he said before leaving the courtroom.

A forensic biologist testified in April that the child remains have been linked to DNA found on a soiled sanitary napkin found in the Giesbrecht home. Jeremy Giesbrecht was also determined to be the biological father of the infants, sources reported. Two medical experts previously testified that some, and perhaps all, of the babies were likely born alive.

Giesbrecht’s son testified his parents had a rocky relationship and sometimes separated. Women who visited the house sometimes had to use the bathroom in the master bedroom due to plumbing issues in the guest bathroom, he said. When asked if his father ever had girlfriends stay at the house, the son said, “Not that I know of.”

The court also heard testimony from Karen Bodoano, operations manager with Sentinel Self Storage. Bodoano testified Andrea Giesbrecht had rented a unit from 1999 to 2008 and was frequently late with payments. She rented from Sentinel a second time in 2010.

When asked by defense attorney Greg Brodsky if she had ever seen the contents of Giesbrecht’s unit, Bodoano confirmed she had. "It was an anomaly that there was few items in the storage unit, so it stood out," Bodoano said. "I saw two totes with their lids, and I saw a pail on the right-hand side of them."

The description resembles the plastic bins and pails found inside the U-Haul unit, sources reported.

Bodoano also testified Giesbrecht had told Sentinel employees she needed the unit to store items she couldn't keep at home, such as jewelry.

Jeremy Giesbrecht is expected to testify later this week.


10/22/14 – Police have arrested a woman in connection with the discovery of six infant corpses found this week in a self-storage unit in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, has been charged with six counts of concealing a child's body, with additional charges possible upon autopsy results, according to police. Employees at the U-Haul Moving & Storage facility at 175 McPhillips St. found the bodies on Monday while inspecting the unit after Giesbrecht defaulted on rent payments, according to news sources.

Police said forensic examination confirmed six bodies were found, after officials initially believed the remains amounted to three or four, according to Winnipeg police spokesman Const. Eric Hofley. Court documents indicate the bodies were stored sometime between March 7 and Oct. 20, according to the “Winnipeg Free Press.”

Autopsies will be performed to determine the causes of death, but Hofley indicated the results could take months. Forensic work is also being conducted to determine if the infants were related and their relation, if any, to Giesbrecht. Investigators believe all six of the babies were newborns. No other suspects are being considered, but Hofley said that could change as the investigation continues.

"U-Haul team members made a disturbing discovery when taking inventory of a delinquent storage locker on Monday,” said Razmin Mansoub, marketing company president for U-Haul Co. of Central Canada in a released statement. “They immediately contacted law enforcement, who believed the locker contained human remains. U-Haul is deeply shocked and saddened by this discovery."

The state of the remains is what caught the attention of facility employees when they inspected Giesbrecht’s unit, Hofley said. U-Haul will continue to cooperate with the police investigation, Mansoub said.

Giesbrecht, who also goes by Andrea Naworynski, was also charged with breach of a probation order stemming from fraud charges issued in 2012. Her attorney, Greg Brodsky, is expected to be in court on Thursday to try to set a bail-hearing date, the “Winnipeg Free Press” reported.

Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact police at 204.986.3296 or via Crime Stoppers at 204.786. 8477.

Sources:

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