A slain Texas woman and her accused kidnapper met as children at church camp.
Kristina Sellers went to the same Columbus, Texas, church camp as Heidi Broussard, a 33-year-old mother found dead on Thursday, and Magen Fieramusca, a woman accused of abducting Heidi and her 3-week-old baby, Margo.
Authorities found an infant believed to be Margo alive and well with Fieramusca, who allegedly tried to pass the baby off as her own after faking a pregnancy. Heidi was found deceased, decades after the pair reportedly bonded and became inseparable at camp.
“They clicked instantly. I believe they were about 11 years old,” Sellers told KHOU.
Sellers remembered both Heidi and Fieramusca not only as instant friends but also as caring campmates who helped her through self-image issues.
“I hated my hair, and I remember, Magen sitting me down, her and Heidi, explaining that we’re not always going to like the way we look, but we’ve got to be confident and strong. I just remember them being very attentive to me, especially since I was the youngest in the dorm,” Sellers said.
Although Sellers hasn’t talked to the pair in years, she was shocked to learn about the allegations against Fieramusca.
“I’m pretty shocked and pretty blown away,” Sellers told the outlet.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities located Broussard’s body seven days after she vanished from her apartment in Austin. She was found hundreds of miles away, in the trunk of a Nissan parked at a home in Houston, off of Bo Jack Drive in the city’s NW side.
The Nissan is registered to Fieramusca, according to officials. Heidi’s cause of death has been listed as “ligature strangulation.”
The Cy-Fair Fire Department found a baby alive inside the same Houston home on Thursday. Law enforcement officials said Fieramusca had the baby in an infant swing inside the house and insisted that the child belonged to her.
The fire department said the baby was taken to a local hospital for evaluation after Child Protection Services requested assistance, following a tip from someone. A DNA test has been carried out to confirm the baby’s identity. The results are pending, although authorities indicated they have a strong reason to believe that the infant is Margo.
Authorities allege that Fieramusca had planned in advance to take Heidi’s baby. She’s accused of pretending to be pregnant alongside Heidi and even had a baby registry listed on Amazon, with a due date of December 1.
While Heidi was missing, Fieramusca allegedly made calls and volunteered to help find her. Tim Miller, founder of the search and rescue group, Texas Equusearch, said Fieramusca indicated she was at the hospital when Heidi gave birth to Margo.
“There was not one single indication she had anything to do with it,” Miller said, according to KHOU. “She’s at the hospital as Heidi has a baby.”
“She said, ‘Mr. Miller, thank you for what you’re doing.’ She says, ‘I’m going to keep talking to people and everything and if I come up with anything, is it OK if I call you?’”
Heidi’s friends, who spoke with Fieramusca, said they heard a baby in the background and assumed the infant belonged to the suspect. They later found out about Fieramusca’s alleged plan to take Margo.
Fieramusca was transferred back to Austin on Friday after Houston authorities detained her on Thursday.
Timeline of Heidi’s Disappearance
Heidi was last seen dropping her son off at Cowan Elementary School in Austin on December 12, at around 7:50 a.m. Friends and family said she dropped the boy off at a book fair at the school.
Authorities said Heidi and Margo returned home afterward, at the Club at Summer Valley apartments off of West William Cannon Drive and South First Street. At some point, after they arrived home, both mom and baby disappeared. The apartment complex is around three miles away from the elementary school.
Heidi’s fiance and the father of her children, Shane Carey, reported her missing at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, about 12 hours from the last time he said he spoke to her.
Carey said he arrived home from work at around 2 p.m. on Thursday and didn’t see Heidi or baby Margot. He claimed Heidi’s belongings, aside from her cellphone, were left behind, along with the baby’s belongings.
Carey reportedly told authorities that he received a call from their son’s daycare at around 6 p.m. Apparently, no one had picked the boy up yet. Carey said he subsequently contacted 911.
Carey explained that he didn’t call police beforehand because he thought Heidi had gone to her friend’s home in the same apartment complex.
“Everything was like she was home,” Carey told FOX 7. “I mean, that’s why I thought she was at her friend’s house…..Her car seat is upstairs, her purse is upstairs, her ID, wallet; there are no signs of her taking the baby. She would never leave her car door unlocked. Her car door was unlocked. So that’s a weird sign.”
The pair have been together around a decade, according to Carey. He said he’s never known Heidi to have enemies and doesn’t know of anyone who would want her harmed.
“I just don’t see why no one heard any screams or anything out here, so we’re trying to put the puzzle pieces together,” Carey previously said.
Carey said when he tried to call Heidi on Thursday afternoon, it went straight to voicemail.
“It’s just the only thing gone is [Broussard] the baby, her keys and her cellphone, which has been off since I tried to call her at 1:40,” Carey said.
On Friday, authorities said that they have no reason to believe that Carey had anything to do with Heidi’s disappearance or death.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Magen Rose Fieramusca, Heidi Broussard/Police Handout]