It’s a tragic case that just went from bad to worse.
On October 22, 2014, the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) announced the arrest of Andrea Giesbrecht (40), aka Andrea Naworynski, in connection with the discovery of the remains of six (6) infants found in a delinquent storage facility.
As a result, Giesbrecht has been charged with six (6) counts of concealing the deceased body of a child and one unrelated count of breach of probation.
Police investigation confirmed Giesbrecht was the contract holder for the storage facility where the infants remains were recovered.
Giesbrecht was detained in custody.
Media reports indicate notable criminal defense attorney Mr Greg Brodsky has been retained to defend Giesbrecht.
The investigation is continuing by the WPS Child Abuse Unit.
Police continue to ask that anyone with information regarding the matter contact investigators at 204-986-3296 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.
Once police arrested Giesbrecht their first order of business was to conduct an interrogation.
Interrogations are critical components of police investigations and can provide answers to many questions that can be difficult to comprehend.
Questions like why?
Why would a mother give birth to six (6) infants and dispose of their bodies in a storage facility?
Andrea Giesbrecht had two options once she found herself sitting in that police interview room, cooperate or refuse comment.
If Giesbrecht decided to cooperate many of the pivotal questions would have been answered.
If she refused comment the focus of the investigation shifts to witness interviews and forensics.
(I’m led to believe she chose the latter.)
Police investigators will be pulling out all stops to identify and locate anyone who may have intimate knowledge connected to the deaths of the infants.
That list is unlimited and might include, parents, siblings, grandparents, intimate partners, relatives, co-workers, friends or even casual acquaintances.
Police will attempt to debrief these potential witnesses to extract any relevant information that may advance the investigation. If any such witness is identified, police will try to obtain a video taped sworn witness statement documenting the witnesses evidence.
If Giesbrecht refuses to cooperate with the investigation forensic evidence will be critical.
Winnipeg is blessed to have highly skilled forensic pathologists who will make extraordinary efforts to determine critical factors such as;
- cause of death
- manner of death
- estimated time of death
- detailed list of injuries
In cases of new-born infant deaths the forensic pathologist will also attempt to determine if the child survived the delivery.
This evidence is critical if police hope to lay higher jeopardy charges such as murder or manslaughter. If the pathologist is unable to make this determination these more serious charges simply cannot be laid.
(In cases of advanced decomposition these findings be extremely difficult to determine.)
Forensic DNA profiling will play a key role in the investigation.
In all probability, police will obtain a DNA warrant requiring Giesbrecht to provide a sample of her blood for forensic comparison purposes.
This evidence will have the potential to provide an irrefutable forensic link between Giesbrecht and the six (6) deceased infants.
(It’s also possible the DNA results might exclude Giesbrecht.)
Forensic DNA analysis results of this nature can often take months to secure.
In many cases of infanticide public sentiment is decidedly sympathetic regarding the mother deemed responsible for the death (s).
That was true of Lisa Gibson and many other women who shocked us after they perpetrated unthinkable acts of violence on their children.
It will be interesting to see if Andrea Giesbrecht evokes a similar response from the public or is it more likely she’ll be vilified due to scale and magnitude of these horrific events?