Mom Charged With Murdering Both of Her Infant Girls Over the Course of Two Years

Stephany LaFountain
GoFundMe

An Alaskan mother is facing murder charges after police believe she allegedly suffocated her two infant daughters to death, just two years apart from each other. Stephany LaFountain, 23, was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska, after authorities responded to her emergency call saying that her youngest daughter had stopped breathing. But this wasn't the first time that a similar tragedy struck her home and, upon further investigation, police don't believe it's an accident. In part, that's because they found suspicious search inquiries in LaFountain's browser history, including the phrases "best ways to suffocate" and "ways to kill human with no proof."

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On August, 29, LaFountain was indicted by a Fairbanks grand jury on charges of killing her 4-month-old daughter back in September 2015 and her 11-month-old in November 2017. According to Fox News, Fairbanks police reported that both girls appeared to have died from suffocation. 

The pattern was discovered after LaFountain called 911 when her 11-month-old, identified as JL by police, had stopped breathing. According to CNN, JL was rushed to the hospital where she died four days later. Police performed an investigation into the case and discovered that LaFountain had made a similar call in September 2015 when her 4-month-old, identified as CP, was not breathing. Police said that CP had symptoms similar to suffocation and an autopsy revealed that that both girls were "entirely healthy, with no genetic abnormalities, no diseases, and no injuries." 


Jasmine LeFountain
GoFundMe

However, the most damning evidence came after police examined LaFountain's search history, where she had used the search terms "Best ways to suffocate," "Can drowning show in an autopsy report," "16 steps to kill someone and not get caught," "Drowning and Forensics," and "Suffocating and Smothering." These searches were made only an hour before LaFountain called the police in her daughter's 2017 death.

JL's father, William LaFountain, had been deployed in Iraq on November 20, 2017, when his then-wife had made the emergency call. According to the report, at the time of JL's death, Stephany also had called his family, who attempted to resuscitate the child, but it was too late. According to Fox News, Stephany and William LaFountain divorced in February 2018 while the homicide case was being investigated. CP was Stephany LaFountain's child from a previous relationship. 

Fairbanks Police spokesman Yumi McCulloch explained to the Washington Post that police were able to piece together what they believe happened when they noticed similarities in the girls' deaths. "First it was just pulling up her name in the system and saying, 'Look at that, there was another one. And then in both circumstances, she called saying the child wasn't breathing, she called the family," she explained. 

On Thursday, LaFountain was arraigned and appeared in court wearing an anti-suicide smock. She was charged with first- and second-degree murders for both children and her bail was set at $2 million. 

In a press conference, Fairbanks Police Chief Eric Jewkes told reporters, "This is just an unimaginable tragedy. We have two infants, we have two babies, that were killed by their mother. How do we even imagine that?" 

He also thanked the family of William LaFountain for keeping quiet while the police performed their investigation. "They shouldered the grieving process alone, and we're going to bring this out to light and hopefully provide some kind of closure to them," he said.

On a GoFundMe that was intended to cover the funeral expenses for JL, a friend of the LeFountain family wrote this:

"We wish to convey a very special thank you to all of the agencies, health care professionals, and experts who have dedicated countless hours and enormous resources for these two little girls.
The investigation has been conducted in the highest confidence. It has been exhaustive and meticulous, and conducted with the utmost respect for the LaFountain family. It has been a difficult process for the family who are only seeking to give a voice to two murdered children. They appreciate everyone's sympathies, prayers, and healing words as the process moves forward."

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