Over a week after she and her three-week-old baby were reported missing, Heidi Broussard was found dead at a residence near Houston on December 19. The 33-year-old Austin, TX mom’s death was ruled a homicide by ligature strangulation by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science, per the Austin American-Statesman. A baby who is believed to be Broussard’s daughter, Margot Carey, and born November 26, was found alive and unharmed at the residence. DNA testing is currently underway to confirm the identity of the infant, who Austin police confirmed appears to be Broussard’s child. "Although we are grateful that it appears as though we have safely recovered baby Margot," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in a press conference on December 20, "again, we do believe that Ms. Broussard lost her life in this incident."
Austin police officials also believe they have found their suspect in the murder of Broussard. Magen Rose Fieramusca is charged with two counts of kidnapping and tampering with a corpse. The 33-year-old was reportedly a close childhood friend of Broussard’s. Austin police officials believe Fieramusca pretended to be pregnant at the same time as Broussard as part of her plot to kidnap her baby. Investigators stated that Fieramusca may have had help in Broussard’s killing and are searching for possible accomplices, according to the American-Statesman.
Broussard and her baby were last seen on December 12 when she dropped her six-year-old son off at his Austin school. When Broussard didn’t return to pick him up, her boyfriend, Shane Carey, who is also Margot’s father, reported her missing. Broussard’s missing car, along with belongings such as her ID and diaper bag, which were found at her apartment following her disappearance, led her friends and the police to suspect foul play, according to NBC News.
A tip led the police to Fieramusca’s residence in Northwest Houston, where they found the infant safe. Broussard’s body was found in the trunk of a car parked on the property, also associated with Fieramusca. That same car was spotted in Austin the day of Broussard’s disappearance, according to CNN. “Everyone [was] hoping for an outcome different than the one that appears we had, and that is with the loss of life,” Manley stated in the press conference.
The home remains an active crime scene with investigators looking at multiple locations between Austin and Houston. More charges may be filed against Fieramusca, who is being held at the Travis County jail in Austin, as the investigation continues. Her bail is set at $600,000.
The baby has been placed in the custody of Texas Child Protective Services until they can confirm her identity.