OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman facing first-degree murder charges for the alleged killing of her infant late last week was ordered held without bail by District Court Judge Daniel R. Mumford this afternoon, but only after she made an impassioned plea to be released on bond so she could begin clearing her name in what is turning out to be a heinous case.
Christy Freeman, 37, of Ocean City, appeared for a bond review this afternoon in District Court, just a couple miles from where local and federal investigators were preparing to excavate her yard, evidently to search for more infant bodies. Freeman has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of her premature infant discovered last Thursday after she was taken to a hospital where doctors discovered she had been pregnant but there was no baby.
After securing a search and seizure warrant for Freeman’s Ocean City home, resort detectives quickly found the dead baby wrapped in a blanket. OCPD detectives, now working with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators, including cadaver dogs, have since discovered the bodies of three more infants in and around the Freeman home.
Freeman, who was taken into custody upon her release from the hospital late Friday and charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as manslaughter for the death of the first infant discovered Thursday, appeared in District Court this afternoon for a bond review. Dressed in a blue jumpsuit with leg shackles and handcuffs, Freeman told Judge Mumford she was not a flight risk and implored him to release her on bond so she could begin clearing her name.
“The purpose of a bond is to make sure I show up for my court appearances, right?” she asked the judge. “I promise I will do that. I need to clear my name in this case. I guarantee I’m going to help clear this situation up.”
Freeman also told the judge she had no reason to flee because everything she had was in Ocean City.
“All my ties are here,” she said. “My family, my house, my business- everything I have is here. I’ve lived here 15 years and would never run away. I don’t even have the money to get very far if I did.”
Freeman’s attorney Frank Benvenuto asked Mumford to consider a bond somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. Despite Freeman’s impassioned pleas, Mumford denied bail and ordered her held in custody until any and all legal action has run its course.
“Based on the nature of these charges, there will be no bond in this case at this time,” he said.
The case started to unfold early Friday morning and has escalated over the weekend. Although authorities are being guarded with information because the investigation is ongoing, police confirmed this morning the bodies of three more children have been found at Freeman’s Ocean City home.
No further information has been released on the children’s age, but at that same Sunset Avenue home police discovered a dead premature baby wrapped in a blanket late Thursday night. Police were tipped off to the house after Ocean City resident Christy Freeman, 37, appeared at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. She was found to be pregnant but without a baby.
Freeman is a local taxicab operator with Classic Taxi who has made numerous appearances before the Ocean City Mayor and Council over the years.
Police received a search warrant for the house and found the infant baby immediately.
During the subsequent search of the home, authorities discovered a garbage bag hidden within a trunk, which was located in Freeman’s bedroom. She reportedly shares the house with her boyfriend and his children.
Inside the garbage bag were three smaller plastic garbage bags. Two contained infant human remains, and the other contained what investigators reported to be a placenta.
Later on Friday, police seized a small motor home located in the house’s driveway. A search of that home found another garbage bag containing infant human remains.
Freeman was to appear in Ocean City District Court this morning for a bond review. Detectives are still actively investigating this case. A report from the Medical Examiner’s office on the first infant discovered is expected sometime this week.
FBI forensic investigators are working on conjunction with the OCPD at the crime scene on Sunset Ave. in Ocean City. By midday today, investigators were removing trees and brush around the perimeter of the property and the yard was marked off in a grid of ropes and string where investigators will methodically excavate the ground searching for more evidence.
Freeman was charged under the “viable fetus statute” which was enacted in 2005. Once the investigation has concluded and the Medical Examiner’s report is complete, the State’s Attorney’s Office is expected to convene the Grand Jury to examine this case.
Ocean City police continue to maintain custody of the crime scene on Sunset Drive regarding the Freeman case. Investigators have still not completed their search of the property. They are still actively searching for additional evidence in this case.
The FBI’s Evidence Response Team has been brought in to assist with processing the scene. The grounds of the property have been prepared for excavation, which may take up to three days.
Police say they are utilizing every investigative tool available to locate any remaining evidence, including requesting security tapes from nearby businesses to determine whether any evidence was discarded before police searched the house.
The Dispatch will be following the case and updating its website when new information is made available. Registered Daily Buzz members will get the news delivered straight to the inbox as more details emerge.