AUSTIN (KXAN) — Magen Rose Fieramusca has been charged with third-degree kidnapping and tampering with a body in connection to the disappearance of Austin mother Heidi Broussard and her infant daughter Margo Carey, an affidavit says.
The affidavit details that Fieramusca was in the delivery room during the birth of Margo Carey, that an eye witness saw Broussard getting into a car with Fieramusca the day Broussard was reported missing and how Fieramusca potentially faked her pregnancy to her former boyfriend.
According to the affidavit, when Broussard gave birth to Margo, Fieramusca was one of three people (the baby’s father Shane Carey and another woman) in the delivery room at St. David’s South Austin Hospital. Fieramusca, who at the time said she was 37 weeks pregnant herself, drove from her home in Houston to be there for the birth Nov. 26.
After the birth, family members came into the room. When the baby’s paternal grandfather, was handed the baby to hold, Fieramusca interjected herself and wanted to hold the baby, saying she had to leave, the affidavit said.
Fieramusca stayed at Carey and Broussard’s apartment on the 700 block of W. William Cannon Drive that night, the affidavit says. Carey gave Fieramusca a key, and Carey said afterward he never found the key he let Fieramusca borrow, the affidavit said.
Carey told police he last saw Broussard Dec. 12 around 6:30 a.m. before he left for work. Around 8:12 a.m., surveillance video showed Broussard had dropped off her 6-year-old son at his elementary school, and phone records show Broussard called her boyfriend around 8:30 a.m.
Surveillance cameras installed by another resident of the apartment complex showed a car resembling Fieramusca’s drive toward the rear of the complex, where Carey and Broussard’s apartment was, at 9:05 a.m. on Dec. 12, the same day the two disappeared. Records from Fieramusca’s cell phone also pinpoint her in the area.
A witness said she saw a woman carrying an infant with a knit cap get into the car, according to the affidavit. The witness said there wasn’t enough time for the woman carrying the baby to properly restrain her in the car before it left the parking lot, the affidavit said.
Carey said he returned home at 2:50 p.m. to find Broussard’s car was still in the parking lot and the front door was unlocked, which he said wasn’t unusual. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, he told police. Later, when he picked up his son from after school activities around 5:50 p.m., he said he expected to see Broussard but did not.
Carey realized Broussard’s purse was in her unlocked car back at the apartment and noticed she hadn’t taken anything to care for their newborn, the affidavit said. He called friends and family to try to find her and finally called police around 7:31 p.m.
For a week, police searched for Broussard and her baby, including sending an Amber Alert. On Dec. 20, Texas State Troopers and Texas Rangers approached a home on Bo Jack Drive in Houston where Fieramusca lived. Broussard’s body was found in a duffel bag in the trunk of the car, which was registered to Fieramusca. Margo Carey was found safe inside.
Concerning internet search history
Once investigators established a cell phone number provided by Carey as Fieramusca’s, they requested internet search records from Google related to an email associated with Fieramusca’s previous name, the affidavit says. Fieramusca once went by Maygen Humphrey but appears as Magen Fieramusca on her Texas driver’s license.
Results from the internet activity search said the account associated with the email used Google to search the phrase “reasons for Amber Alert,” at 10:31 p.m., Dec. 12. It also searched “Amber alert issued Austin,” at 10:42 p.m., the affidavit says. An official Amber Alert wasn’t sent out by law enforcement prior to those terms being searched, the affidavit says.
More search results by authorities said the account searched “bodies found in Austin Texas,” on Dec. 14. A search of Facebook or Instagram accounts showed an account with the vanity name MAYGEN.HUMPHREY as a Facebook profile. The search showed the page was deleted Dec. 17, the affidavit said.
Missing baby ‘presented as her own’
Carey said on Dec. 8 or 9, Broussard told him Fieramusca had a baby girl. Carey didn’t see any photographs of the child, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, “Magen Fieramusca presented Heidi Broussard’s Newborn Child as her own to her boyfriend.”
Fieramusca’s ex-boyfriend was living with her at the 8100 block of Bo Jack Drive in Houston. He said he believed he was the father of Fieramusca’s child, and said he noticed her belly growing as time passed, the affidavit said.
The ex-boyfriend said he felt Fieramusca’s stomach and said it felt “hard.” He said he never saw Fieramusca’s bare stomach because their relationship, at the time, “did not lend itself to seeing her in stages of undress,” the affidavit said. The two broke up in March, the affidavit said.
The affidavit says Texas Rangers saw the ex-boyfriend buying baby formula on Dec. 19, approached him and showed him a flyer with Margo Carey’s picture on it. He looked and replied, “that’s the baby in my house,” the affidavit said.
Fieramusca told the Texas Rangers she left to go to the beach with a cousin Dec. 12, the affidavit says. When her ex-boyfriend saw her the next day, Fieramusca told him, “don’t be mad, don’t be mad.” He asked why, and Fieramusca said she went to a birthing center in The Woodlands and had the baby, the affidavit said.
When the Texas Rangers asked Fieramusca about the birth, Fieramusca said she brought her baby home Dec. 12., but could not recall the name of the birthing center she went to, the affidavit said.
The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit provided an assessment of “maternal desire,” the affidavit said. It specifically included information on when mothers lose a pregnancy or fabricate one, they get the desire to have a child by taking another one, the affidavit said.
Statement from Fieramusca’s attorney
On Monday, Fieramusca’s attorney, Brian Erskine, released the following statement:
“Ms. Jackie Wood and I are anxious to review the evidence collected thus far and have many of the same questions you do. Those accused, as well as the public at large, understandably want swift and certain answers from our criminal justice system. We call upon patience and resisting the rush to judgment until all the facts are in. The cursory information contained in the recently released probable cause affidavit is nothing more than mere allegations. As with every American accused of a crime, unless the State has proven these allegations beyond any reasonable doubt, Ms. Fieramusca remains innocent.
Texas prosecutors are not required to provide Defense Counsel with all of the actual case evidence until the felony is indicted by a grand jury, which could be months away. However, Travis County has maintained a policy to provide pre-indictment discovery/evidence to the Defense team (see: https://www.traviscountytx.gov/district-attorney/defense-attorney-information under ‘Things To Be Aware Of’ drop down list #7). We have asked they comply with their policy, but prosecutors have now refused, citing case complexity.
Due process requires fair dealing and full disclosure of ALL facts and mitigating circumstances no matter how complex, and time is of the essence. We are exploring all options at our disposal to vigorously represent Ms. Fieramusca, considering the prosecution’s refusal to provide us with information at this time.”
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office says its prosecutors are exploring every appropriate charge at this time, including and up to capital murder.
Travis County’s website specifies that information has to be released to the defense before the indictment unless prosecutors believe disclosing it could hinder an on-going investigation or place a victim, witness or community at risk.
Prosecutors have 90 days after Fieramusca’s arrest to present their case to a grand jury for an indictment.