Suspected Missouri ‘womb raider’ denies murdering 31-weeks pregnant Arkansas woman to steal child

Suspected Missouri ‘womb raider’ denies murdering 31-weeks pregnant Arkansas woman to steal her child – with infant also dying after being ripped from mom’s womb

  • A Missouri woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering a pregnant Arkansas woman who was 31 weeks pregnant in attempt to steal the baby 
  • Amber Waterman, 42, was charged Friday with kidnapping resulting in death in the murder of 33-year-old Ashley Bush 
  • According to court documents, Waterman and her husband Jamie, also 42, abducted Bush ‘for the purpose and benefit of claiming Ashley Bush’s child’ 
  • Officials in Benton County said Waterman lured Bush by using ‘Lucy’ as a pseudonym and a phony job interview posting 

A Missouri woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering a pregnant Arkansas woman who was 31 weeks pregnant in attempt to steal the baby. 

Amber Waterman, 42, was charged Friday with kidnapping resulting in death in the murder of 33-year-old Ashley Bush, who was found near Waterman’s home on November 3. 

According to court documents, Waterman and her husband Jamie, also 42, abducted Bush ‘for the purpose and benefit of claiming Ashley Bush’s child as the defendant’s child.’

Officials in Benton County said Waterman lured Bush by using ‘Lucy’ as a pseudonym and a phony job interview posting.  

Authorities said that the pregnant Bush was looking for a work from home job at the time.

A Missouri woman - Amber Waterman (pictured) - has pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering a pregnant Arkansas woman who was 31 weeks pregnant in attempt to steal the baby

A Missouri woman – Amber Waterman (pictured) – has pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering a pregnant Arkansas woman who was 31 weeks pregnant in attempt to steal the baby

Waterman, 42, was charged Friday with kidnapping resulting in death in the murder of 33-year-old Ashley Bush (pictured), who was found near Waterman's home on November 3

Waterman, 42, was charged Friday with kidnapping resulting in death in the murder of 33-year-old Ashley Bush (pictured), who was found near Waterman’s home on November 3

According to court documents, Waterman and her husband Jamie, also 42, abducted Bush 'for the purpose and benefit of claiming Ashley Bush’s child as the defendant’s child'

According to court documents, Waterman and her husband Jamie, also 42, abducted Bush ‘for the purpose and benefit of claiming Ashley Bush’s child as the defendant’s child’

‘Lucy’ met Bush at an Arkansas library on October 28 and offered to connect her with someone who could get her a job, according to an affidavit. 

They made plans to meet again at a convenience store on October 31, with Bush believing she would go with ‘Lucy’ to meet the supposed boss about 13 miles away from the store and 25 miles from where the Watermans live in Missouri. 

Bush was dropped off at the store by her fiance, Joshua Willis, who saw her leave with the woman he had seen meet with Bush at the library.  

She texted Willis at around 3 p.m. to say that she was on her way back to the convenience store, but when the truck Willis saw Bush get into drove by, it drove past the store, onto a local highway due north. 

Willis recognized the truck and that ‘Lucy’, AKA Amber Waterman, was driving.

Suspicious, Willis continued to try and contact his fiancee, going to voicemail. He reported her missing by 6:30 p.m.  

She was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound two days later. The unborn child, which Bush had named Valkyrie Grace Willis, was found in a separate location. 

The Watermans also accused of having transported Bush across state lines from Arkansas to Missouri. 

Social media users discovered Waterman posting to her Facebook account photos of ultrasound, appearing to indicate she was pregnant in the months leading up to the murder. 

In addition to the charges against Amber Waterman, husband Jamie has been charged with being an accessory. He also pleaded not guilty.

Bush was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound two days later. The unborn child, which Bush had named Valkyrie Grace Willis, was found in a separate location

Bush was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound two days later. The unborn child, which Bush had named Valkyrie Grace Willis, was found in a separate location

In addition to the charges against Amber Waterman, husband Jamie has been charged with being an accessory. He also pleaded not guilty

In addition to the charges against Amber Waterman, husband Jamie has been charged with being an accessory. He also pleaded not guilty

Waterman waived a formal reading of the indictment against her and made her not guilty plea in federal court Friday. 

The US Attorney for the district said that Amber Waterman could face the death penalty if found guilty.  

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for December 14 with the federal trial set to start on December 14. 

Officials have suggested the Watermans will likely face overlapping charges in multiple states given the nature of their offenses.  

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