Local News

Harnett woman indicted in toddler's death

Posted September 24, 2009 3:24 p.m. EDT

— Nearly two years after the remains of an 11-month-old girl were found in the attic of a Spring Lake home, a Harnett County grand jury has indicted the child's mother in her death.

Johni Michelle Heuser, 27, of 1680 Ray Road, was indicted this week on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Harmony Jade Creech.

Deputies found the toddler's remains in her mother's attic on Oct. 20, 2007. The indictment states the child was killed between Aug. 31, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2007.

The child had been wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed in an empty diaper box in a corner of the attic, authorities said. The body was so badly decomposed that medical examiners have never been able to determine a cause of death.

When the child's father, Sgt. Ronald Creech II, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, returned from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, Heuser claimed the baby had been abducted, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.

She later told investigators that she found the baby dead in her crib weeks earlier and hid the death out of fear.