Katie Stockton, 32, was sentenced in a Winnebago County courtroom on April 5, 2013, for the murder of Baby Crystal. The newborn remained unidentified for years after her mother left her on December 17, 2004, to suffocate and freeze to death in a wooded area along a road just 90 yards from the family home. Police, who named the baby, suspected Stockton from the beginning, but only filed charges after DNA testing showed that Stockton was the baby’s mother. On February 1, 2013, Stockton pleaded guilty to the murder. On April 5 she was sentenced to 50 years in prison for it.
In a bid for leniency at her sentencing Stockton told the judge, “I was in a very dark place for many years. I apologize to those I hurt and ask forgiveness. I’m truly sorry for the pain and hurt they have endured.” Her attorney Public Defender David Doll told the judge that for years Stockton struggled with drug addiction, and that psychologically she was never able to face the fact of her pregnancy. Judge John Truitt found himself unable to grant that leniency.
Doing his best to put aside that fact that during their investigation into Stockton, police found that her impounded car had two more infant skeletons in it, he found her crime against Baby Crystal too heinous for leniency: Stockton denied her child adoption, a chance at being abandoned legally at a safe haven, and even the love of Stockton’s mother, Lisa Landsee, who was already caring for her first child, now 4. Truitt said that despite all that, “You did the incomprehensible. You gave birth, by all accounts, to a healthy, full-term baby girl and you chose to play judge, jury and executioner and put her by the roadside like yesterday’s garbage.”
Investigation into the infant remains found in Stockton’s blue Saturn is ongoing.