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Mother, Daughter Allegedly Aborted, Burned, and Buried a Baby, But That's Not What the Media Focused On

AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

A Nebraska mother allegedly helped her teenage daughter carry out an illegal abortion, then burned and buried the baby, but that's not the part of the story media outlets are focusing on. 

According to court documents, Facebook messages reveal the mother, Jessica Burgess, 41, gave her daughter, Celeste Burgess, 17, abortion pills. The teenager took them and said she couldn't "wait to get the 'thing' out of her body and reaffirms with [the mother] that they will burn the evidence afterwards," the detective wrote. 

Upon exhuming the body, authorities discovered the fetus "appeared to have thermal injuries." 

The mother is facing felony charges for carrying out an abortion after 20 weeks, doing so as a non-licensed doctor, removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body, concealing the death of another person, and false reporting, reports CBS14

The daughter is being charged as an adult with removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body, concealing the death of another person, and false reporting. 

Both pleaded not guilty. 

Authorities were alerted after an acquaintance of Celeste's told them she had given birth to a stillborn baby—a story she told police as well. It was only the Facebook messages—turned over with a warrant as part of an investigation—that showed what really happened. 

Rather than focus on the "horrific crimes" committed, media outlets focused instead on how the girl was being prosecuted for having an abortion. 

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