Woman Charged With Kidnapping Friend's Baby, Mother's Dead Body Found In Boot Of Car
Heidi Broussard's dead body was found in the trunk of a vehicle parked behind a Houston, Texas home where her friend Magen Rose Fieramusca lived.
Fieramusca was charged with kidnapping in connection with Broussard's death on Friday local time.
A baby -- found unharmed inside the home -- matched the description of Broussard's infant daughter, Margot Carey.
An autopsy has confirmed Broussard, who lived in Austin and was reported missing last week, was strangled to death.
Fieramusca is being held in jail on two kidnapping offenses and one tampering with evidence, a human corpse, according to The Harris County District Clerk website.
Additional charges may be filed now that the autopsy is complete.
Local police said finding the mother of two's dead body was a "heartbreaking development."
"It's been a horrible week here in Austin," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.
"We were hoping to find Heidi alive."
Broussard's one-month-old daughter was found with no signs of injuries, but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The baby is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Fieramusca is being reported as a "close friend" of Broussard who had plotted to steal her daughter.
When Broussard gave birth to Margot last month, Fieramusca is said to have been present. Law enforcement sources have said Fieramusca even pretended to be pregnant at the same time as Broussard.
Chris Fine, whose sister is friends with Fieramusca, told PEOPLE on Friday that Fieramusca had FaceTimed his sister after Margot’s birth and claimed to have had a baby, holding Margot up to the phone.
Broussard and Margot went missing from Austin on December 12. Police said that a tip had led them to a residence in Houston.
Late Thursday, a body was found in the trunk of a vehicle at the home, CBS affiliate KHOU reported.
Broussard was last seen dropping off her six-year-old son at Cowan Elementary School in Austin with Margot in tow. Detectives believe they then returned home.
When the baby's father, Shane Carey, came home to the apartment around 2 p.m. local time, he said nothing seemed out of place and Broussard's car was still parked outside, but mother and child were missing.
"Her car… everything's at the house. The baby stuff… everything," he said. "Nothing's gone except her and the baby."
Neighbours told KHOU that Fieramusca lived in the home with Christopher Green, the owner. He has not been charged in connection with the case. One neighbour said the couple had been trying for a baby.