BERLIN – There’s little personal information available about Christy Freeman, 37, who has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter after giving birth to a stillborn male infant at her Ocean City home last week.
A complex picture has emerged this week of Freeman with people at times describing her as outgoing countered by others who say Freeman is introverted.
National news media has painted a grim picture of Freeman, with one major cable outlet, FOX News, deriding her early this week as an “alleged baby killer” and displaying a photograph of Freeman on its website with the headline “Born to Die?”
Before the discovery of the fetal remains at her home on Sunset Drive, Freeman was just another hard working resort business owner, sharing the top floor of an Ocean City apartment with her partner of nearly 20 years, Ray Godman, and their four children.
Freeman moved to Ocean City at age 18, after graduating from Liberty High School in 1987 with straight A’s, according to an interview with her brother, Randy Freeman, in the (ITALICS)Carroll County Times.
Freeman’s contact with the court system was relatively minor prior to this week, consisting of loose dog citations and a judgment against her for an unpaid Atlantic General Hospital bill. She also stood as a plaintiff in trespassing cases and damage cases related to rental properties.
Freeman, who often wrote letters to the editor to (ITALICS)The Dispatch including one critical of the Ocean City Police Department in July of 1998, has appeared frequently at city government meetings to speak on behalf of the resort’s taxi industry.
Neighbor Karen L’Hussier said Freeman’s family seem like a tight bunch.
“They were a very close knit family. They kept to themselves, even the children,” L’Hussier said. “You hardly saw the kids, and you saw [Freeman and Godman] in and out of the cabs all the time.”
Relations between the neighbors were rocky at times, L’Hussier said, but smoother recently.
“I’ve lived next door to her for six years. We’ve had a couple of falling outs but the last couple of years it hasn’t been so bad,” said L’Hussier. “She could be friendly if she wanted to. She could blow up if she wanted to.”
Century Taxi driver Hunter Frey often directed customers to Freeman’s Classic Taxi business when he was too busy. He said he would not give Freeman’s company business if he did not trust them.
“I don’t know anything bad about her,” said Frey. “I’ve always had a good impression of her.”
Godman once brought him gas for his taxi after the vehicle ran out, Frey said.
“I know if I need help they’d be there. They’d drop what they were doing if I got jammed up,” he said. “They’re reliable.”
Freeman and Godman also showed their generous side in 2004 when Classic Taxi offered free rides to the polls during an election.
Jay Hancock, Ocean City Councilman and retired police officer, said he ran into Freeman at the grocery store a few weeks ago and discussed her taxicab business.
“She seemed like Christy, the usual, outgoing, bubbly, ready to speak [Christy],” Hancock said. “I guess we talked 10 or 12 minutes. I noticed nothing out of the ordinary with her.”
Hancock recalled Freeman’s involvement in the debate over new taxicab regulations last year.
“She and Ray were really advocating for the cab industry in general, also they were supportive of the concept of tighter regulations for the cabs in the city which really helped us get the whole business through,” he said. “People within the cab business looked at them as leaders. They’re always ready to speak up and express their thoughts. We all listened to what they say because they have been in the business for awhile.”
Steve Morris of Dave’s Taxi described Freeman as “an average person, nothing out of the ordinary. Not shy, not overly expressive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her get mad.”
Frey said she was a hard-working woman.
“She was always out and about working,” said Frey.
L’Hussier, her neighbor of six years, said work and family seemed to dominate her life.
“Recently, she seemed like a hard working mother, working all the time,” L’Hussier said.
As far as knowing whether she was pregnant, sources spoke to this week said they had no idea. Freeman often wore loose-fitting clothes and most sources believe she could have easily hid that fact due to her build.
L’Hussier said the revelations that she was pregnant and the discovery of the four fetuses comes as a shock.
“At times she could project herself as unstable,” said L’Hussier, but, she added, “You wouldn’t see any of this coming, not at all. It’s just very depressing.”
Frey, the driver for Century Taxi, agreed, saying, “It’s just shocking. That’s what I keep saying. Nobody had any idea. Some of the drivers’ kids played with her kids.”