Megan and Rodney Staude: Iowa woman and her father charged with murder after her newborn son found dead

Megan and Rodney Staude: Iowa woman and her father charged with murder after her newborn son found dead
Rodney Staude (L) and his daughter Megan Staude (R) have been charged with first-degree murder of a newborn baby (Warren County sheriff’s office)

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NORWALK, IOWA: A father-daughter duo from Iowa have been charged with the first-degree murder of a newborn boy who was left to die alone in the snow. The death of the baby took place in a state where they had the choice of leaving the baby in an authorized location under the Safe Haven laws which would have prevented them from prosecution.

Rodney A Staude, 64, helped his daughter Megan K Staude, 25, to discard her newborn baby whom she gave birth to at her home in February, according to the Norwalk Police Department's announcement on Monday, March 13, 2023.



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'They were kinda weird'

In the department's announcement, authorities stated, "On March 8, the Norwalk Police Department was contacted with concerns for the safety of a child in Norwalk." Megan's co-workers in Iowa, who noticed her no longer being pregnant, raised their concerns that day after they were suspicious of her actions.

“Honestly, I was pretty appalled. Not really surprised though, just cause the vibe they gave. They were kinda weird," said their neighbor Chris Hentschel who was shocked to know about the incident but not surprised, reported KCCI. According to the report, their residence was considered "unsafe to occupy." Rodney allegedly helped his daughter in abandoning the helpless baby in a ditch alongside a road in Warren County's Delaware Street.


A cadaver dog found the newborn covered in snow

Norwalk police chief Greg Staples told Law and Crime that everyone involved in the investigation has found it to be a "difficult" and "emotional" one. Crediting the officers who "buckled down and solved a case of this magnitude so quickly," Staples said, "Luckily justice is being served for the baby who didn’t have any say-so in what happened to him." 

Along with the SAR K9, a search and rescue group, a cadaver dog named Montana discovered the newborn covered in snow. "Safe Haven laws are there for a reason. It is a shame that because the Safe Haven laws weren’t used in this case we have the death of a newborn and two people in jail charged with the most serious crime that there is," stated Staples.


Concluding his statement, Staples believes that this case may help in preventing the occurrence of similar tragic incidents. He said, "If there’s one thing that’s good that comes out of this investigation it’s that someone pregnant out there will see this story and their baby will have a life to live, unlike this baby."

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 Rodney and Megan Staude: Iowa woman and her dad charged with murder after her newborn son found dead