ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The discovery of Baby Crystal on the side of a rural Rockton road shocked and saddened many in our community. Dozens came to the infant's funeral to say a prayer for a little girl they never knew. One local couple has been following the case since Baby Crystal's graveside service in 2004.
"Everything comes from our heart to that little girl, we just appreciate the time we had to come here today," said Brian Leist back in 2004 after he and his wife Patti attended Baby Crystal’s funeral.
The Leists say they'll never forget that December day when they, along with dozens of others, helped lay Baby Crystal to rest. The couple says they wanted to honor the little girl, saying no child deserves to be thrown away.
"One thing I look at is, that child will never have a chance to go to school or play on a playground, it’s just unfortunate,” Brian Leist said Thursday after hearing Baby Crystal’s mother, Katie Stockton, pled guilty to first degree murder.
“I just can't fathom anyone doing something like that to a baby, I just absolutely cannot. It’s just so sad and should never happen to an innocent child like that," added Patti Leist.
Even with four kids and four grandkids to keep them busy, the Leists say they've kept an eye on the case and were curious to see the outcome of Katie Stockton's trial. Thursday's plea deal caught them somewhat off guard.
"I think it’s great, I think it's about time. It took a long time to bring her to trail even though there is no trial. She is going to be punished and rightfully so now they have to move on to the other two babies,” says Patti Leist.
Stockton might never get punished for the two infants found dead in the trunk of her car. The coroner hasn't been able to confirm whether Stockton is the mother of due to lack of DNA evidence
“They were too young to have any sin and they're in God's heaven now," says Brian Leist.
Stockton will be sentenced April 5th.