WINNIPEG — Police have charged a woman who was renting a storage locker where the remains of six babies were found, but they say it could be months before they know who the infants were or how they died.
Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, was arrested outside her home in north Winnipeg. Const. Eric Hofley said she faces six charges of concealing a body and one charge of breaching probation.
Giesbrecht has also used the name Andrea Naworynski.
Hofley said it will take an extensive forensic investigation to determine if she is related to the dead infants.
The state of the remains discovered Monday was such that police were initially unable to determine how many babies were in the locker. Their ages are still unknown, but they are believed to have been newborns, he said.
“The forensics that are going to be involved in this investigation, they’re numerous,” Hofley said Wednesday. “It will be a long time before we’re able to answer these questions — if at all.”
There are no homicide charges right now and police aren’t interviewing any other suspects, he said.
“Nothing is ruled out until all the information has been gathered and processed,” Hofley said. “But, at this point, this is what is known and these are the charges that are appropriate at this time.”
Greg Brodsky, Giesbrecht’s lawyer, said he had seen a preliminary outline of the charges and met with his client.
“She’s in bewilderment,” he said. “But I can’t talk to you about what she said to me because that would be a breach of solicitor-client privilege.”
Giesbrecht was initially arrested on murder charges, but those weren’t the charges that were filed with the court, Brodsky said. That indicates the autopsy and forensic investigation isn’t complete yet, he said.
“The forensic examination is really important,” Brodsky said. “There has to be an autopsy conducted and more investigation done in order to determine where this case is going.”
The breach of probation charge laid by police relates to two charges for fraud over $5,000 that were laid against Giesbrecht in 2012. She was sentenced to probation on those charges last month, Brodsky said.
She will be applying for bail and a date for that hearing is expected to be set Thursday, he added.
Workers were taking inventory at a delinquent U-Haul storage locker on Monday when they found the remains of what police believed were three or four infants. The U-Haul employees immediately called police.
Even with an arrest, there are few answers to explain what may have happened.
Hofley wouldn’t say how long the remains were in the locker or how police believe they came to be there.
“So many of the questions I expect you have will be answered forensically, hopefully,” Hofley said. “DNA analysis will take place. My understanding is that, in and of itself, is a lengthy investigation and we won’t have results for months.”
Anyone with any information that could help the ongoing investigation is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.