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Baby Theresa's mother sentenced to probation for concealing her death

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Karin Luttinen.JPG

JUNEAU (WKOW) -- A Dodge County judge issued a sentence Friday for the Milwaukee woman who pleaded guilty in April to concealing the death of a child in the Baby Theresa case.

Karin Luttinen, 46, of Milwaukee was sentenced to three years of probation for the 2009 crime with the following conditions/requirements:

  • Six months in jail (0 days sentence credit)
  • $5,000 fine 
  • 60 hours community service
  • Mental health treatment

If she does not successfully complete probation, Luttinen will be required to spend a year and a half in prison and serve two years of extended supervision. 

Dodge County investigators said they found the body of a newborn baby in April 2009 abandoned in a garbage bag in the Village of Theresa. An autopsy concluded that the baby was not murdered, but rather died prior to or during birth.

In 2014, the sheriff's office and district attorney filed charges against the baby's mother's DNA profile, and the case remained cold until 2020 when Dodge County Sheriff's Office detectives and the Dodge County Medical Examiner's Office were able to use genealogy DNA testing to match Luttinen as Baby Theresa's mother. 

Detectives said Luttinen confessed to giving birth to the baby in the bathtub of her home and being in shock that she was not breathing. She then left the baby in the woods. 

A criminal complaint stated Luttinen said she concealed her pregnancy from everyone she knew.

In a press release, District Attorney Klomberg stated Luttinen's actions impacted many people, commenting, “the officers and medical examiner who had to respond to the scene and conduct the investigation live with the emotions and pain of what the defendant did to this day. The child’s father has had his life turned upside down. Our community suffered through the most painful experience in our collective memories."

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