By Nancy Flanders
A Missouri woman has been indicted for killing the preborn child after having been previously indicted for kidnapping and killing the baby’s pregnant mother.
Amber Waterman, 43, was charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death, and is now charged with murder of the preborn child as well. The indictment alleges that between October 31 and November 2, 2022, Waterman kidnapped Ashley Bush in order to steal Bush’s preborn child for herself after she had suffered four miscarriages.
According to The Blaze, Waterman created a fake Facebook account under the pseudonym “Lucy Barrows,” and then posted a job opportunity in a Facebook group for moms. Bush, 33, showed interest in the job. She was nearly nine months pregnant at the time.
Waterman had Bush meet her at a public library in Gravette, Arkansas, on October 28 to discuss the job. At some point after the meeting, Waterman told Bush that a supervisor — who did not actually exist — wanted to meet her, and that Bush could travel with her to Bentonville, Arkansas, to meet this supervisor. Bush agreed, and it was reportedly the last time she was seen alive.
Bush’s fiancé, Josh Willis, last saw her on October 31 when she left in Waterman’s vehicle to meet with the supervisor regarding the potential job. He was supposed to pick her up afterward; however, Waterman drove by the pick-up spot without stopping, reportedly making eye contact with Willis as she drove by. Willis then reported Bush missing.
That same day, Waterman contacted 911 from a convenience store to report that she (not Bush) had gone into labor and had given birth to a stillborn. When first responders arrived at the convenience store, she had the baby with her, but the baby was not able to be saved. Waterman allegedly had the placenta in her pants, seemingly in an effort to appear that she had been pregnant, and refused medical treatment.
Waterman, along with her husband Jamie Waterman, 43, held a funeral service that same day for the baby girl they named Dakota. The coroner arrived after the service to take the baby for an autopsy and DNA test, which upset the Watermans. But in reality, the baby was Bush’s child.
Jamie Waterman at some point confessed to police that his wife had shown him Bush’s body and that she had tried to burn the remains before the couple moved Bush’s body to another location. When Jamie Waterman led police to Bush’s body, it appeared she had been shot and her baby was cut from her abdomen.
Jamie Waterman has been indicted with one count of being an accessory (after the fact) to kidnapping resulting in death.
The couple will appear before a federal trial jury; if convicted, Amber Waterman faces life in prison while her husband faces 15 years.
According to research published this year, “up to 50% of women suffer from a psychological morbidity after pregnancy loss.” Of those women, 25-39% experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Additional research has found that repeated pregnancy losses can lead to more severe cases of psychological disorders including anxiety, depression, grief, guilt, and anger.
The press release regarding the indictment, which was issued by the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri, never once referred to Bush’s preborn baby as a “fetus.” Instead, the baby girl was referred to as an “unborn child” and “a child in utero.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission.