Pueblo’s ‘Baby Hope’ Cold Case Is Finally Solved 23 Years Later
After 23 years, Pueblo detectives finally know what happened in the 'Baby Hope' cold case.
According to The Denver Channel, two fishermen found the infant dead in the Arkansas River in August of 1996.
An autopsy later revealed that the child was born alive before being left in the river, where she drowned. Authorities ruled her death a homicide, but the case went cold.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) reexamined the case in 2017, with a mission to find the girl's parents and anyone else who could have been involved in her death.
This led to speculation that the case could have been related to the murder of 'Baby Faith,' who was found on the same day at Horsetooth Reservoir, but this was debunked.
PCSO began working with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete an updated DNA test of Baby Hope.
The test results gave authorities a list of her possible parents, whom they started contacting.
One of these possible parents was 52-year-old LeeAnne Hed of Pueblo West, who refused to talk with investigators.
In October of 2019, detectives discovered Hed's body inside of a burned car in the South Colorado Gaming & Events Center parking lot. The county coroner ruled her death a suicide.
After gathering evidence from Hed's body, authorities determined she was indeed the mother of Baby Hope, and that she was the only person responsible for the baby's death.
The case is now officially closed.