FARGO, N.D. – A full week into the search for Savanna Greywind, authorities Saturday combed cornfields and deployed specially trained police dogs from Minneapolis in hopes of finding the young pregnant woman, who disappeared from her Fargo apartment building Aug. 19.
Investigators targeted a grove of trees and farmland about 5 miles across state lines in Dilworth, Minn., while calling for the public’s assistance in checking for clues to the 22-year-old woman’s whereabouts. Aerial and river searches have come up empty.
On Thursday, officers found a live newborn in the apartment where Greywind, who was eight months pregnant, was last seen. Two tenants who live in the unit have been arrested in connection with her disappearance, said Fargo Police Chief David Todd.
Brooke Lynn Crews, 38, and William Hoehn, 32, who are in the Cass County jail in Fargo, are charged with felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Neither has cooperated with investigators, Todd said.
Authorities have asked citizens to search their garages, outbuildings and even dumpsters for evidence that might help them find Greywind.
Family and friends — some dismayed with police efforts thus far — have set out on their own searches for Greywind, who vanished without her car or wallet.
“A girl eight months pregnant does not just leave her mom and dad. There’s something fishy there.” said Jamie Calloway, a close family friend who said she doesn’t believe law enforcement is moving quickly enough.
Calloway and one of Greywind’s aunts spent the day scouring parked boats, garbage bins and manholes near her apartment complex at 2825 N. 9th St.
On Saturday afternoon, members of several American Indian tribes from the Dakotas and Minnesota arrived by bus, car and van to show support for Greywind, who is of the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe. They gathered for a picnic and prayer march at Oak Grove Park, where hundreds of people trekked about a mile to Veterans Memorial Bridge, which spans the Red River between Minnesota and North Dakota.
Many wore red, a color adopted to honor murdered and missing indigenous women. The multiracial group paused midway along the bridge for a brief service so spiritual leaders like Willard Yellow Bird could seek guidance from traditional rain, wind and night spirits.
“And I’m going to call our ancestors, because we need healing,” he said.
Fargo City Commissioner John Strand also spoke to the crowd. “Here’s what I know today,” he said. “Pain and trauma know no boundaries. Neither do love and hope know boundaries.”
Back in town, images of Greywind adorn missing-person fliers on buildings in the area near her home. They inform neighbors that she’s 5 feet 4 inches, with green eyes, long brown hair and has a large dreamcatcher tattoo on her right thigh.
‘She would not just leave’
The search began last weekend, when Greywind failed to return home from assisting her upstairs neighbors with a sewing project. The suspects live in that unit.
Greywind’s mother, Norberta LaFontaine-Greywind, told the Grand Forks Herald that her daughter had been offered $20 to model a dress for the neighbor and had ordered a pizza before heading out. She never returned to eat it, the mother said.
After Greywind failed to come back, LaFontaine-Greywind headed upstairs to knock on the neighbors’ door and was told that her daughter had already left, according to the Herald.
“I immediately knew something was wrong, because her car is here,” her mother told the paper. “She’s eight months pregnant. Her feet were swollen, so she wouldn’t have taken up walking like that. ... She would not just leave that lady’s apartment and go somewhere.”
Police questioned the neighbor couple, but initial interviews yielded no leads. Crews, the female suspect, told police that Greywind left the apartment after she helped model a dress. A subsequent search of the apartment turned up nothing.
It was on the investigators’ third scan of the premises, after obtaining a search warrant Thursday, that they found the infant. The baby was immediately taken to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo, where it was in good health. It remains in the hands of Child Protective Services.
Although DNA tests are being conducted to determine if the infant is indeed Greywind’s, “our investigation thus far indicates the probability that this is Savanna Greywind’s child,” Chief Todd said in a statement.
Crews, who was in the apartment when police found the baby, was arrested. Hoehn was detained at a different location during a traffic stop.
Police also said they are looking for a brown 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV with Minnesota license plate 876 EPR that might be connected to the case. The vehicle has rust on the roof and is missing paint on the hood.
Authorities are scouring hours of video surveillance from local businesses to try and piece together where the suspects may have been in the hours before Greywind’s disappearance.
Attempts to ping Greywind’s cellphone earlier in the week came up empty. Local, state and federal agencies have also been involved in searches, using police dogs, boats and three aircraft.
Over the past several days, the Fargo department has deployed 35 detectives, four sergeants, two lieutenants and a deputy chief to try to find the missing woman.
‘Getting so close’
On her personal Facebook page, Greywind had posted periodic pregnancy updates, including a sonogram image taken at Sanford Health Clinic. On Aug. 13, a week before her disappearance, she posted an excited message: “A little bit more things & we will almost have everything for our baby. Getting so close,” she wrote, adding a heart emoji.
Her due date was Sept. 20. She was expecting a baby girl, the Forum said.
Greywind works as a certified nursing assistant at a West Fargo senior center, according to her social media accounts.
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