Warning: Graphic details of the investigation are included in this article.
Day two of the Andrea Giesbrecht trial featured a full day of testimony from an officer with Winnipeg Police’s Identification Unit.
Const. Danielle Aessie was in charge of collecting the exhibits from the U-Haul storage locker on McPhillips St.
The locker contained two plastic tote containers and three pails, each containing human remains in different stages of decomposition.
In her initial inspection, Aessie found a bag inside one of the containers.
“Once I opened the bag, a small hand was apparent,” Aessie testified.
She could also feel a small head and at this point stopped her investigation to notify a medical examiner who was only able to pronounce four infants dead at the scene. They would later discover the remains of six infants were inside the containers.
The bins were then sent to the HSC morgue for further inspection. It was there where investigators also found documents, such as pay slips and an expired certificate for St. John’s Ambulance, which had Giesbrecht’s name on them.
Clothing was also found with the infants: an Old Navy Sweat, men’s pajama pants, black socks, men’s boxers, Scooby Doo children’s underwear and tiny socks.
Other items include: Lysol wipes, candy wrappers, coffee grounds and a Pepto-Bismol bottle.
Aessie continued her testimony by describing the details of how each infant was found placed in the containers.
One infant was identified as a male, another a female. One infant was so decomposed investigators had to call an anthropologist to assist, according to Aessie. She described one of the body’s as ‘mummified’; maggots were also present.
Some of the infants still had their umbilical cords attached and one of the babies weighed only 2.85KG.
Aessie also told court about a search of Giesbrecht’s house, yard, garage and vehicles. She said a used napkin was seized to compare with Giesbrecht’s DNA.
A DNA expert witness will testify on Wednesday.
Medical Records Filed By Prosecutors
The topic of abortions was raised for the first time, by both sides in the afternoon.
Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky asked Aessie if she knew about Giesbrecht receiving “therapeutic abortions.” Aessie said no.
Brodsky also asked her if she knew Giesbrecht’s husband Jeremy had a vasectomy. She said no.
Later, prosecutors filed Giesbrecht’s medical records as an exhibit.
Crown attorney Debbie Buors said they detailed treatments from 1988 through 2013. She did not explicitly say whether some or all of those were abortions.
It’s still unclear whether either side will suggest abortions were done for any of the six infants found inside the storage locker.
Medical records detailing Jeremy Giesbrecht’s vasectomy have also been filed. Prosecutors say it happened in 2011.
Giesbrecht showed no emotion throughout the entire testimony. She has been free on bail since just shortly after her arrest in October of 2014.
The trial is being heard by judge alone and is expected to last three more weeks.