More than a week after a 33-year-old Texas mother and her infant daughter vanished, authorities said Friday they found the woman dead more than 100 miles away but the baby safe, and have charged a suspect with kidnapping and tampering with a corpse.
On Friday afternoon, Harris Co. Institute of Forensic Sciences positively identified the body as that of Heidi Broussard. The cause of her death was also determined to be “ligature strangulation,” which is defined as a “type of strangulation that occurs with the use of mass that is not the body weight.” An example of this kind of death is being strangled by a rope.
In a briefing on Friday afternoon, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley explained that investigators are confident that the baby is Margot Carey but confirmation is still pending.
“Everyone [was] hoping for an outcome that appeared different than the one we had, and that was with a loss of life,” Manley said, after recognizing APD’s homicide division, missing persons division, special investigations unit, robbery unit, violent crimes task force and organized crime division; the Texas Department of Public Safety Rangers; the Travis County District Attorney’s Office; the FBI and its child abduction rapid deployment team; Texas Parks and Wildlife; Travis County Search and Rescue; and Child Protective Services.
The child is healthy and CPS is caring for her, according to APD. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said the girl is in a foster home and it is working with law enforcement to verify possible relatives.