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South Dakota woman convicted in her baby’s 1981 death

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Theresa Bentaas
heresa Bentaas is suspected to be the baby's biological mother. She was arrested for allegedly leaving him to die on the side of a South Dakota road in 1981.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Sioux Falls woman has pled guilty in a cold case from 1981.

A change of plea hearing for 60-year-old Theresa Bentaas took place Friday. Bentaas faced several charges in connection to the death of her newborn son in 1981. She previously pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree murder, as well as manslaughter.

Bentaas entered an “Alford” plea Friday on count three of first-degree manslaughter. The two murder charges were dropped in the plea agreement. An “Alford” plea is still a guilty plea but where the defendant does not admit to the criminal act.

Investigators say Bentaas left her infant son to die on the outskirts of Sioux Falls. It became known as the “Baby Andrew” case. It went cold until DNA evidence linked Bentaas to the infant in 2019.

A sentencing hearing has been set for December.

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