South Dakota woman convicted in her baby’s 1981 death

October 9, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota woman has been convicted of manslaughter in the death of her newborn son whose body was discovered in a ditch 40 years ago.

Sixty-year-old Theresa Bentaas, of Sioux Falls, entered an Alford plea to first-degree manslaughter Friday in an agreement with prosecutors.

Two murder charges were dropped.

The plea allows Bentaas to maintain her innocence in the baby’s 1981 death while authorizing the court to enter a guilty plea.

Police arrested Bentaas in March 2019 after investigators reworked the case and determined through advanced DNA and genetics testing that she was the mother of the newborn known as “Baby Andrew.”