A woman suspected of kidnapping her close friend and her newborn baby in an elaborate plot to steal the infant and pass her off as her own has now been charged with the mother’s murder.
Magen Fieramusca, 34, was indicted Tuesday on a capital murder charge for the strangling of Heidi Broussard, 33.
Broussard was found strangled to death in the trunk of a car outside the home Fieramusca shared with her ex-boyfriend in Houston, Texas on December 20 – one week after she disappeared with her two-week-old baby Margot Carey.
In the indictment released Tuesday, authorities said Fieramusca, who met her victim at church camp around a decade ago, had been charged with murder.
Magen Fieramusca, 33, (pictured) was indicted Tuesday on a capital murder charge for the strangling of Heidi Broussard, 33
Broussard was found strangled to death in the trunk of a car outside the home Fieramusca shared with her ex-boyfriend in Houston, Texas on December 20 – one week after she disappeared with her two-week-old baby Margot Carey (pictured together)
The indictment says Fieramusca asphyxiated Heidi Broussard by ‘ligature estrangulation, with a leash and with her hand.’
Fieramusca was charged with kidnapping and evidence tampering in relation to her friend’s death earlier this month after police said she faked being pregnant in a plot to steal Broussard’s baby.
Until now, no one had been charged with her murder.
Broussard vanished with her baby on December 12.
Police became suspicious of the missing mother’s long-time friend Fieramusca after a woman who lived in the same apartment complex as Broussard reported seeing two women, one who was holding a baby, interacting the day the mother and daughter disappeared.
Fieramusca (pictured) allegedly asphyxiated her friend of a decade by ‘ligature estrangulation, with a leash and with her hand’, following a plot to kidnap Broussard’s baby
Broussard disappeared with baby Margot (pictured above) on December 12. The baby was found unharmed inside Fieramusca’s home. Authorities said that Fieramusca and Broussard were excited about being pregnant at the same time and had wondered if they would go into labor around the same time
Police believe Broussard was murdered so that Fieramusca could kidnap baby Margot (above), after she had faked her own pregnancy
The witness said she saw the woman who was carrying the baby walking towards a car being driven by the other woman before they all drove off together.
Police said the witness – when given a photo lineup – said she was about 70 per cent sure that the woman driving the car was Fieramusca.
Authorities then conducted a review of Fieramusca’s online searches between November 11 and December 18.
Among the search terms they uncovered were ‘Heidi Broussard’ and ‘bodies in Austin Texas’.
Investigators began monitoring Fieramusca’s house in Houston and interviewed her ex-boyfriend Christopher Green.
Green told them they had broken up in March but they still lived together.
The ex-boyfriend said he thought she had gotten pregnant around the time they split, he thought he was the father and that he had never seen her bare stomach during the pregnancy.
Fieramusca allegedly told him that she had given birth while she was out of town after going to the beach with a cousin.
When the ex-boyfriend saw Fieramusca at their home on December 13, she allegedly told him: ‘Don’t be mad, don’t be mad’.
She then told him there was a baby on the bed, according to the affidavit.
Police showed her ex-boyfriend a photo of Margot and he responded: ‘That’s the baby at my house’.
Authorities searched Fieramusca’s home on December 19 and noted they could smell the ‘unmistakable odor of decomposing flesh’ coming from the trunk of her car.
They noted the car had been parked in a way that looked like someone was trying to hide it.
Broussard’s distraught fiance Shane Carey (right with Broussard) told police that both women were expecting in late 2019 and that Fieramusca was ‘visibly pregnant’
Shane Carey is pictured with his daughter, Margot, who was returned to him by police last moth after her mother’s killing. Earlier this month, the dad shared a sweet video of the baby (right)
Broussard’s body was found inside the trunk stuffed into a black duffel bag on December 20, over a week after she had been reported missing.
The baby was found unharmed inside the home.
Police believe Broussard was murdered so that Fieramusca could kidnap her baby, after she had faked her own pregnancy.
Broussard’s distraught fiance Shane Carey told police that both women were expecting in late 2019, according to the kidnap affidavit.
Fieramusca was ‘visibly pregnant’ and would hold her hands under her belly to support the weight, he said.
Carey said Broussard told him on December 8 or 9 that Fieramusca had given birth to a baby girl, but he never saw any photos of the child, the affidavit states.
In an interview with ABC earlier this month, Carey said he did not believe Fieramusca acted alone and speculated that someone possibly had talked her into carrying out the deadly baby-stealing plot.
Carey said the two women had been very close friends.
‘Heidi loved Magen, they had a great relationship. She was a friend. You would not suspect this at all. Like, at all,’ he said.
The kidnap affidavit said that Fieramusca and Broussard were excited about being pregnant together and had wondered if they would go into labor around the same time.
The record does not make clear whether Fieramusca was ever pregnant, but investigators found discrepancies in her account of giving birth. In one conversation, she told a Texas Ranger that she went to the beach with a cousin on December 12.
But she later told the same officer that she gave birth on that day, although she was unable to provide specifics of her delivery, according to the affidavit.
The murder charge comes as Broussard’s distraught fiance has posted a donation site asking well-wishers to contribute by purchasing items for his family.
Carey created the Heidi and Shane Family Fund asking for financial support for his family of three children, including newborn daughter Margot, after the body of his fiancee was discovered last month.
‘How do you describe the ultimate betrayal?’ a description on the fund’s website reads.
It continues: ‘I think that’s what this story is. We are a family temporarily displaced by a brutal slaying with glimmers of hope coming from the return of my daughter.
‘In this way we are blessed.
‘The love I have for my Heidi will transcend and shine through my three children.’
The Amazon wish list was started on December 22 and has been steadily growing since then.
The most recent item – the portable personal refrigerator – was added on Sunday.
Carey is asking the public for help in buying a list of items which includes baby formula, baby nail file, a shopping cart cover for toddlers, a set of Pokemon cards, a baby walker, diapers, baseball cleats, and pajamas for babies.
Shane Carey created the Heidi and Shane Family Fund asking for financial support for his family of three children, including newborn daughter Margot, after the body of his fiancee, Broussard, was found in a duffel bag in the trunk of a car last month in the Houston area
Carey created an Amazon wish list so the public can help him and his family start their life anew
Carey is also soliciting donations through a GoFundMe page whose goal is to raise a total of $50,000.
As of Monday, the crowdfunding effort has so far raised $785.
‘My name is Shane Carey and my family has been brought to its knees by the murder of Heidi, my soulmate and mother of our beautiful children,’ Carey wrote on the GoFundMe page.
‘Of course I’m going to continue working and providing for my kids but at the same time I want to reach out for help with all the costs related to this tragedy and for all that it will take to try and restore these kids to a happy and fruitful life.
‘I pray for guidance during this extremely troubling time.
‘I want to also say thanks to all that have helped me and my family get to this point.’
Carey has been keeping Heidi Broussard’s memory alive by sharing his favorite throwback photos of her and posting updates on baby Margot.
He took to Facebook earlier this month to thank everyone who has supported him through the ‘nightmare’ of Broussard’s abduction and killing after she had given birth to Margot last month.
Last week, he uploaded a 10-second video showing the squirming diaper-clad baby stretching out her tiny arms and legs on a blanket.
‘There she is,’ Carey says with a chuckle while standing over Margot.
Carey later wrote a status update addressing all of his family’s well-wishers.
‘I want to send a heartfelt thank you for all the love, prayers and support throughout this incredibly difficult time,’ he stated. ‘It has been hard for me to put my thoughts into words sooner, as my mind has been racing trying to make some sense of this nightmare.
‘I appreciate everything everyone has done, and still doing, for me and my family. Please continue to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers, especially remember Heidi and her overwhelming love of life and her children.
‘Heidi would want you to think of her and her goofy ways and ability to laugh throughout every situation. I’m sorry I haven’t thanked you all personally but this whole ordeal has been overwhelming!’
Fieramusca is being held in the Travis County Jail, with bonds totaling $1.7 million.
Fieramusca maintains that she is innocent of the charges, said her attorney, Brian Erskine, in a statement Tuesday.
He repeated his previous contention that prosecutors continue to withhold information to which the defense is entitled.
If convicted, Fieramusca could face the death penalty or life in prison.