Mother, grandfather arrested after newborn found dead in ditch in Iowa

NORWALK, Iowa — A woman and her father are facing first-degree murder charges following the death of her newborn baby boy in Norwalk, Iowa.

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In a news release, Norwalk Police Department said they were called on March 8 over concerns about a child’s safety. The following day, investigators and professional volunteer searches found a dead newborn along the road in Walton County, Iowa.

In court records obtained by KCCI, Megan Staude, 25, had a baby boy at her house at the end of February. Police said that her father, Rodney Staude, 64, had reportedly helped her get rid of the baby’s body.

Megan Staude gave investigators conflicting information about her son’s death, according to court records obtained by the news outlet.

At first, both Rodney Staude and Megan Staude told investigators that the baby died on the way to the hospital, according to The Associated Press. Meghan Staude reportedly said she buried the baby in a cemetery in Cummings, Iowa but there were no signs of a freshly dug grave.

Megan Staude reportedly confessed to investigators on Monday that she put the baby in a box and didn’t care for him for two days, according to the Des Moines Register. Megan Staude and Rodney Staude then put him in a bag when he was still alive.

Rodney Staude confessed to investigators. He said that he helped Megan Staude get rid of the bag in a ditch near Norwalk, according to court records obtained by the AP.

Investigators received a tip from Megan Staude’s coworkers on March 8 that ultimately led to the discovery of the newborn’s body, the AP reported.

Police conducted a search warrant of the house in Norwalk and they reportedly found signs that someone gave birth there, according to the Des Moines Register.

An autopsy has been done by the state medical examiner’s office and results are pending, police say. Rodney Staude and Megan Staude have both been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

The AP reported that they are both being held on a $1 million bond.