Bodies of 2 Babies Found at Baxter

Bodies of 2 Babies Found at Baxter

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October 25th, 2000, 12:53 pm #1

http://www.portland.com/news/state/001025bodies.shtml


BAXTER STATE PARK — A member of a Massachusetts religious sect that buried
two children in a 200,000-acre wilderness preserve a year ago guided a
search team to their unmarked graves Tuesday.

The remains, believed to be those of Jeremiah Corneau, who died at birth,
and 10-month-old Samuel Robidoux, were found in a thickly wooded area of
Baxter State Park amid large rocks and heavy roots.

David Corneau, father of the stillborn baby, used a hand-drawn map to
pinpoint the grave site. After locating a landmark, he walked a set number
of paces, then turned and headed toward the largest pine tree in a grove.

''It was basically X marks the spot,'' said Mark Latti, spokesman for the
Maine Warden Service. Once a cadaver-sniffing dog confirmed that a body was
present, searchers began digging and found two small wooden coffins, Latti
said.

Law enforcement authorities have been searching for the bodies of the
children, whom they believe were buried by sect members after they died
under mysterious circumstances.

The site, which was 1.3 miles north of Grand Lake Matagamon, was so remote
that Corneau and the search team had to be transported by floatplane. The
nearest road was at least five miles away.

The coffins were flown out hours later and transferred to a sport utility
vehicle to be transported to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta.

The search in Baxter State Park was launched a day after Corneau agreed to
lead authorities to the bodies in exchange for immunity from prosecution for
himself and his wife.

The agreement does not preclude charges against other members of the sect,
and Bristol (Massachusetts) County District Attorney Paul F. Walsh said
''it's likely'' that someone will be charged. He declined to speculate on
who might be charged or the nature of the offenses.

Corneau used landmarks and compass bearings to lead searchers to the site,
which investigators immediately blocked off as a crime scene to protect
evidence from being disturbed.

Walsh said the coffins were about three feet in the ground and the site was
not disturbed by wildlife. One coffin was 3 feet by 18 inches, the other
almost 18 inches square.

The prosecutor said authorities never would have found the site without
Corneau's help.

Acting on tips from former sect members, police searched Baxter State Park
several times last year but found nothing.

The park, which was bequeathed by the late Gov. Percival Baxter and includes
Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, does not
have paved roads or running water, in keeping with Baxter's request that the
land be kept ''forever wild.''

The area that was searched in Township 6, Range 9, consists of heavy woods
and thick underbrush, and is off the beaten track for most of the park's
100,000 visitors a year, said Buzz Caverly, park director.

Authorities have been looking into the disappearance of the two boys and
were concerned that the sect members' rejection of conventional medicine and
other beliefs may have contributed to their deaths.

Walsh said the state medical examiner would conduct autopsies, but Corneau's
lawyer, Robert A. George, said his client's agreement with the prosecutor
specified that there would be no autopsy on Jeremiah's remains.

Sect members, based in the southeastern Massachusetts city of Attleboro, do
not recognize the legal system and remained silent for months before a grand
jury investigating the boys' disappearance.

Corneau, 33, was one of eight members of the group jailed for refusing to
respond to the grand jury's questions. He was freed last month after taking
the Fifth Amendment.

''David admits to no wrongdoing,'' said George, who noted that his client's
decision to lead searchers to the site came after much thought during his
130 days in jail for contempt, and the removal of all children from the
sect.

Corneau's pregnant wife, Rebecca, 32, was recently held in state custody
after a judge expressed concern for the well-being of the unborn child. She
gave birth last week to a girl, who remains in state custody until her fate
is decided by the courts.

Gerry FitzGerald, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office in
Massachusetts' Bristol County, indicated Tuesday that prosecutors are more
interested in punishing sect members involved in the death of Samuel
Robidoux, who allegedly starved to death after he stopped nursing.

''(Corneau's) degree of culpability in any crime that could be proven is
considerably less than that of other persons,'' FitzGerald said.

Asked why Corneau had been granted immunity after months of stonewalling the
investigation, FitzGerald said: ''Finding the bodies is very important.
Prosecuting persons for an intentionally inflicted death of a child is very
important. Having an eyewitness is very important.''
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August 8th, 2001, 8:50 pm #2

A motion has been made to move the trial of the "Babies Burried at Baxter" to Western Massachusetts.

An excerpt:

Local publicity has raised the profile of the case against Robidoux, who heads a family religious sect called "The Body" and will be tried for first-degree murder of his 10-month-old son Samuel. Karen Robidoux, his wife and the child's mother, is charged with second-degree murder.

Samuel Robidoux's death led to an extensive search of Maine's Baxter State Park, where the Robidouxs had buried their son's body and the body of his cousin Jeremiah Corneau, who died at birth in August 1999.


http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news ... 4491&rfi=6

Last edited by dipper on August 8th, 2001, 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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January 7th, 2002, 2:54 pm #3

http://www.portland.com/news/state/001025bodies.shtml


BAXTER STATE PARK — A member of a Massachusetts religious sect that buried
two children in a 200,000-acre wilderness preserve a year ago guided a
search team to their unmarked graves Tuesday.

The remains, believed to be those of Jeremiah Corneau, who died at birth,
and 10-month-old Samuel Robidoux, were found in a thickly wooded area of
Baxter State Park amid large rocks and heavy roots.

David Corneau, father of the stillborn baby, used a hand-drawn map to
pinpoint the grave site. After locating a landmark, he walked a set number
of paces, then turned and headed toward the largest pine tree in a grove.

''It was basically X marks the spot,'' said Mark Latti, spokesman for the
Maine Warden Service. Once a cadaver-sniffing dog confirmed that a body was
present, searchers began digging and found two small wooden coffins, Latti
said.

Law enforcement authorities have been searching for the bodies of the
children, whom they believe were buried by sect members after they died
under mysterious circumstances.

The site, which was 1.3 miles north of Grand Lake Matagamon, was so remote
that Corneau and the search team had to be transported by floatplane. The
nearest road was at least five miles away.

The coffins were flown out hours later and transferred to a sport utility
vehicle to be transported to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta.

The search in Baxter State Park was launched a day after Corneau agreed to
lead authorities to the bodies in exchange for immunity from prosecution for
himself and his wife.

The agreement does not preclude charges against other members of the sect,
and Bristol (Massachusetts) County District Attorney Paul F. Walsh said
''it's likely'' that someone will be charged. He declined to speculate on
who might be charged or the nature of the offenses.

Corneau used landmarks and compass bearings to lead searchers to the site,
which investigators immediately blocked off as a crime scene to protect
evidence from being disturbed.

Walsh said the coffins were about three feet in the ground and the site was
not disturbed by wildlife. One coffin was 3 feet by 18 inches, the other
almost 18 inches square.

The prosecutor said authorities never would have found the site without
Corneau's help.

Acting on tips from former sect members, police searched Baxter State Park
several times last year but found nothing.

The park, which was bequeathed by the late Gov. Percival Baxter and includes
Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, does not
have paved roads or running water, in keeping with Baxter's request that the
land be kept ''forever wild.''

The area that was searched in Township 6, Range 9, consists of heavy woods
and thick underbrush, and is off the beaten track for most of the park's
100,000 visitors a year, said Buzz Caverly, park director.

Authorities have been looking into the disappearance of the two boys and
were concerned that the sect members' rejection of conventional medicine and
other beliefs may have contributed to their deaths.

Walsh said the state medical examiner would conduct autopsies, but Corneau's
lawyer, Robert A. George, said his client's agreement with the prosecutor
specified that there would be no autopsy on Jeremiah's remains.

Sect members, based in the southeastern Massachusetts city of Attleboro, do
not recognize the legal system and remained silent for months before a grand
jury investigating the boys' disappearance.

Corneau, 33, was one of eight members of the group jailed for refusing to
respond to the grand jury's questions. He was freed last month after taking
the Fifth Amendment.

''David admits to no wrongdoing,'' said George, who noted that his client's
decision to lead searchers to the site came after much thought during his
130 days in jail for contempt, and the removal of all children from the
sect.

Corneau's pregnant wife, Rebecca, 32, was recently held in state custody
after a judge expressed concern for the well-being of the unborn child. She
gave birth last week to a girl, who remains in state custody until her fate
is decided by the courts.

Gerry FitzGerald, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office in
Massachusetts' Bristol County, indicated Tuesday that prosecutors are more
interested in punishing sect members involved in the death of Samuel
Robidoux, who allegedly starved to death after he stopped nursing.

''(Corneau's) degree of culpability in any crime that could be proven is
considerably less than that of other persons,'' FitzGerald said.

Asked why Corneau had been granted immunity after months of stonewalling the
investigation, FitzGerald said: ''Finding the bodies is very important.
Prosecuting persons for an intentionally inflicted death of a child is very
important. Having an eyewitness is very important.''
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) – A juvenile court judge ordered state investigators to go into a religious sect member’s home to determine whether the woman has recently given birth, prosecutors said Friday.

Officials from the Department of Social Services were turned away from Rebecca Corneau’s Attleboro home Thursday when they tried to see if she had recently given birth. Corneau and family members had secretly buried her stillborn child in Baxter State Park Maine in 1999.
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/Main.asp ... leID=47468
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January 18th, 2002, 6:24 pm #4

ATTLEBORO -- A Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge ordered Rebecca and David Corneau held in contempt yesterday for refusing to answer questions concerning the whereabouts of their newborn baby.

But rather than sending the couple, members of an extremist religious sect known as "The Body," directly to jail, Judge Kenneth Nasif stayed incarceration for three working days while the Corneau's seek relief from the state Court of Appeals in Boston.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news ... 4232&rfi=6
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February 6th, 2002, 10:38 pm #5

BOSTON (AP) -- A couple belonging to a religious sect are appealing judge's order to have them jailed for refusing to disclose the location of a missing baby.
The Corneaus were originally held in contempt of court by Juvenile Court Judge Kenneth Nasif after they refused to turn over a newborn baby who the state claimed had been born to the couple.
State child welfare officials have said they believe the infant was endangered by its parents' fundamental Christian beliefs, which reject modern medicine, government and education.
Carney said Tuesday that Rebecca Corneau miscarried her baby in November at a friend's house.
Nasif ordered the couple to jail for contempt of court after they declined to give any information about where the baby was buried.
Nasif told the Corneaus they must either bring their child to court on Feb. 14 or reveal the burial site.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/nationa ... r=MOREOVER

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 25th, 2004, 4:26 am #6

http://www.portland.com/news/state/001025bodies.shtml


BAXTER STATE PARK — A member of a Massachusetts religious sect that buried
two children in a 200,000-acre wilderness preserve a year ago guided a
search team to their unmarked graves Tuesday.

The remains, believed to be those of Jeremiah Corneau, who died at birth,
and 10-month-old Samuel Robidoux, were found in a thickly wooded area of
Baxter State Park amid large rocks and heavy roots.

David Corneau, father of the stillborn baby, used a hand-drawn map to
pinpoint the grave site. After locating a landmark, he walked a set number
of paces, then turned and headed toward the largest pine tree in a grove.

''It was basically X marks the spot,'' said Mark Latti, spokesman for the
Maine Warden Service. Once a cadaver-sniffing dog confirmed that a body was
present, searchers began digging and found two small wooden coffins, Latti
said.

Law enforcement authorities have been searching for the bodies of the
children, whom they believe were buried by sect members after they died
under mysterious circumstances.

The site, which was 1.3 miles north of Grand Lake Matagamon, was so remote
that Corneau and the search team had to be transported by floatplane. The
nearest road was at least five miles away.

The coffins were flown out hours later and transferred to a sport utility
vehicle to be transported to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta.

The search in Baxter State Park was launched a day after Corneau agreed to
lead authorities to the bodies in exchange for immunity from prosecution for
himself and his wife.

The agreement does not preclude charges against other members of the sect,
and Bristol (Massachusetts) County District Attorney Paul F. Walsh said
''it's likely'' that someone will be charged. He declined to speculate on
who might be charged or the nature of the offenses.

Corneau used landmarks and compass bearings to lead searchers to the site,
which investigators immediately blocked off as a crime scene to protect
evidence from being disturbed.

Walsh said the coffins were about three feet in the ground and the site was
not disturbed by wildlife. One coffin was 3 feet by 18 inches, the other
almost 18 inches square.

The prosecutor said authorities never would have found the site without
Corneau's help.

Acting on tips from former sect members, police searched Baxter State Park
several times last year but found nothing.

The park, which was bequeathed by the late Gov. Percival Baxter and includes
Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, does not
have paved roads or running water, in keeping with Baxter's request that the
land be kept ''forever wild.''

The area that was searched in Township 6, Range 9, consists of heavy woods
and thick underbrush, and is off the beaten track for most of the park's
100,000 visitors a year, said Buzz Caverly, park director.

Authorities have been looking into the disappearance of the two boys and
were concerned that the sect members' rejection of conventional medicine and
other beliefs may have contributed to their deaths.

Walsh said the state medical examiner would conduct autopsies, but Corneau's
lawyer, Robert A. George, said his client's agreement with the prosecutor
specified that there would be no autopsy on Jeremiah's remains.

Sect members, based in the southeastern Massachusetts city of Attleboro, do
not recognize the legal system and remained silent for months before a grand
jury investigating the boys' disappearance.

Corneau, 33, was one of eight members of the group jailed for refusing to
respond to the grand jury's questions. He was freed last month after taking
the Fifth Amendment.

''David admits to no wrongdoing,'' said George, who noted that his client's
decision to lead searchers to the site came after much thought during his
130 days in jail for contempt, and the removal of all children from the
sect.

Corneau's pregnant wife, Rebecca, 32, was recently held in state custody
after a judge expressed concern for the well-being of the unborn child. She
gave birth last week to a girl, who remains in state custody until her fate
is decided by the courts.

Gerry FitzGerald, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office in
Massachusetts' Bristol County, indicated Tuesday that prosecutors are more
interested in punishing sect members involved in the death of Samuel
Robidoux, who allegedly starved to death after he stopped nursing.

''(Corneau's) degree of culpability in any crime that could be proven is
considerably less than that of other persons,'' FitzGerald said.

Asked why Corneau had been granted immunity after months of stonewalling the
investigation, FitzGerald said: ''Finding the bodies is very important.
Prosecuting persons for an intentionally inflicted death of a child is very
important. Having an eyewitness is very important.''
TAUNTON -- Karen E. Robidoux collapsed into tears yesterday when the image of her infant son Samuel, whom she and her husband allegedly let starve to death on the instructions of God, flashed across a television monitor in the courtroom where she is on trial for second-degree murder.
Robidoux's emotional breakdown took place in front of the Bristol County Superior Court jury hearing the case, prompting her lawyer, Joseph Krowski, to accuse Bristol County prosecutors of mounting an immoral prosecution of a woman Krowski contends was trapped in a religious cult.
"It's not right. It's not justice. It's not moral," Krowski told reporters.
But Walter Shea -- a Bristol County assistant district attorney who obtained a first-degree murder conviction against Robidoux's husband, Jacques, in 2002 -- replied: "Look at what they did to their kid."
In 1999, Karen and Jacques Robidoux were members of a religious sect in the Attleboro area called The Body when Jacques's sister, Michelle Mingo, had a "leading" from God that Karen Robidoux was too vain and should feed her son only from the breast, according to testimony and court records. Karen Robidoux was also told to drink only almond milk.
At the time, Karen Robidoux was pregnant and slowly stopped lactating. Samuel Robidoux died 51 days after the feeding regimen was ordered, three days short of his first birthday. His body was buried in Baxter State Park in Maine, near the remains of another child of sect members, who said that baby was stillborn.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... reaks_down/
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 5th, 2004, 2:54 pm #7

An Attleboro mother charged with second-degree murder for starving her baby to death on the orders of her religious sect was acquitted yesterday of murder but convicted of assault and battery, a misdemeanor, which allowed her to walk out of Bristol Superior Court a free woman.
The verdict, reached after seven hours of deliberation over two days, infuriated Bristol District Attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr., who said that Karen E. Robidoux's actions could not be excused.

Robidoux, who was held for 35 months awaiting trial, much of that in Taunton State Hospital because she was deemed incompetent to stand trial, said she was happy that things "worked out."
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... ering_baby/
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