Warning: Graphic details of the investigation are included in this article.
A long awaited trial is underway for a Winnipeg woman accused of hiding the remains of six dead infants inside a storage locker on McPhillips Street.
Andrea Giesbrecht, 42, was arrested in October 2014. She’s been on bail for a year and sat in court on the opening day of testimony, Monday.
Patrol Sgt. Cory Ford was the first officer on scene after U-Haul employees called Winnipeg Police to report the foul odor and ‘squishy bags’ found in the locker.
“I could smell a very strong smell,” Ford testified.
“I’ve been to many, many death related incidents…I would say the smell of decay,”
On further inspection, Ford looked in the bins and described his horrifying discovery to court.
“I was able to see the limb of what looked like a baby and a small head with hair,” Ford said.
Photographs from the storage locker entered as evidence and released to the media.
Exterior of Locker
Remains Stored In Bins
Hallway to Storage Locker
Two employees with U-Haul testified earlier in the day. They described finding the remains when they were asked to take inventory on the locker. Giesbrecht was months behind on payment and the contents were going to be put up for auction.
Ryan Pearson described opening the door and knowing right away something was wrong.
He said there were containers, pails and bags inside.
He said the smell was something he couldn’t describe, but it was strong.
He said they used gloves because “everything was sticky” and described something in a bag that felt “mushy”.
Another employee, Kristina Lekei told court they opened a blue container that smelled the worst.
“Just gross, like something was rotting. There was something in the bag. It was not just rotting food.”
They stepped out of the locker and called police.
Lekei testified records showed Giesbrecht last would have had access to the locker in May of 2014. She had been contacted several times for payment but never showed up or sent the money.
Giesbrecht is not accused of harming the infants, only with hiding the remains. A possible motive is still unclear.