South Dakota mom Theresa Bentaas was just 19 years old in 1981 when she allegedly abandoned her newborn baby boy in a Sioux Falls cornfield.
The baby, named Andrew by police, was later found wrapped up in a blanket with tears frozen on his face, according to the Argus Leader.
He had died from exposure with the placenta still attached. Decades later, Bentaas has now been arrested.
The mother was identified after police submitted the baby’s DNA to try to find a possible link in a public genealogical database, similar to the one used to catch the Golden State Killer.
When authorities got a likely match, they built out a family tree and were eventually led to Bentaas, according to People. Her current husband was also determined to be the baby’s father.
Police interviewed the couple on February 27, which would have been the child’s 38th birthday had he lived.
The mom, who has had two more children with her husband, said she was “young and stupid” when she decided to leave her son in a ditch.
Bentaas said she had the baby alone in her apartment because she didn’t want anyone to know she was pregnant — including her now-husband.
They weren’t married when the baby was born, and he was allegedly unaware that she had the child, according to the Argus Leader.
She is still living close to the area where the infant was found. Bentaas said she was “in denial” about what she’d done after seeing news reports about her son.
The mom has now been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree manslaughter.
She is being held on $250,000 bond and has not yet entered a plea.
Her husband is not facing charges, as he was allegedly unaware the crime took place.