Cold Case Solved: Mother of Dead Baby Arrested 38 Years Later in Sioux Falls
A cold case has been solved and the identity of a newborn baby boy who died in the cold has been made, along with his mother who allegedly abandoned him in southeast Sioux Falls decades ago.
DNA was retrieved from the baby's exhumed body approximately ten years ago and a recent match was connected to a Sioux Falls Family, due to open source DNA information taken from a family tree.
Theresa (Josten) Bentaas, 57, from Sioux Falls was arrested in connection to the homicide that took place nearly 38 years ago. The relentless work from Detective Mike Webb was credited to the solving of the crime.
In February of 1981, a man driving by an undeveloped area of land on Sycamore Avenue spotted a baby blanket that caught his attention and discovered the infant’s body. The white newborn infant was just hours old at the time of his death and may have been in the ditch for up to 24 hours. The area is now a thriving neighborhood, but once was a field, when a man driving on a test drive of a car turned around at a field approach and spotted the baby blankets and eventually the baby.
Police searched records of hospital births in the area and all babies born were accounted for. The blanket did not appear to be hospital issued. Police say a case like this is never closed but grows cold. Thanks to new technology, the identity of the baby, who was affectionately named Andrew Doe by the community, is now known. The baby was interned at St. Michael's cemetery, while a group of mourners said prayers for peace, permission was received to exhume the body, which was sent to a crime lab in Texas.