Mother Who Left Baby To Freeze Gets 50 Years

A mother has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for leaving her newborn daughter to freeze to death on a remote road.

Winnebago County Judge John Truitt handed down the sentence to 32-year-old Katie Stockton of Illinois on Friday.

Stockton's infant became known as Baby Crystal after her frozen remains were found.

Stockton pleaded guilty in February to first-degree murder in the infant's death after years of insisting she was innocent.

She had hidden her pregnancy and secretly gave birth to the baby in December 2004 and then stuffed the newborn into a shopping bag and left her along a roadway in frigid conditions.

Under Illinois state law she could have abandoned the baby at any designated safehouse without any questions being asked.

Police interviewed Stockton about Baby Crystal's death in 2004 after the child's frozen remains were found along a dead-end road near the Stockton family home.

Prosecutors said when detectives interviewed her hours after the discovery, she lifted her shirt and asked if she looked like she had just given birth.

Stockton refused to provide a DNA sample but detectives investigating the death collected evidence from a cigarette butt they saw her discard.

Authorities said saliva on the cigarette butt matched blood found on the clothing with Baby Crystal.

But Stockton was not arrested in connection with Baby Crystal's death until 2009.

The Rockford Register Star reports Judge Truitt allowed testimony during Friday's sentencing hearing about skeletal remains of two other baby girls found years after Baby Crystal's death in the boot of Stockton's car.

Those remains, wrapped in cloths and stuffed underneath a spare tyre and a tyre iron, were found in 2009 - after the car had been sitting in impound for a year.

DNA testing determined Stockton was also probably the mother of those babies.

That testimony would not have been allowed had Stockton stood trial.