Kelli Lane in her young 20s.
When Australian Keli Lane was pregnant, she didn’t tell anyone, not even her college boyfriend.
In 1996, two days after she had an induced birth, she left the hospital, fleeing down a fire escape with her baby, named Tegan.
Her baby girl has not been seen since.
Ms. Lane’s lies surfaced when she was giving up another child for adoption in 1999 and paperwork was found about her daughter’s birth.
At first, she said she never had the child.
Then she said she gave the baby to a couple:
"(the child) lives with a family in Perth although I have not had contact with them for a long time. They befriended me just before I had her and supported us. I am not able to give you any details as I’m not sure myself. If my story isn’t unusual enough as it already is, I know you probably can’t believe it but I know somehow that you know I am being honest with you."
She changed her story again, saying that she had a brief affair and gave Tegan to the baby’s father. His name was either Andrew Morris or Andrew Norris.
Police searched all of Australia for a man with the right name and age. They looked for a girl with the name of Tegan, or any girl born around the same time. The media publicized the case.
Kelli Lane and boyfriend Duncan Gillies, who said:"In this whole story, I’m the biggest idiot in the world."
Police contacted her boyfriend at the time, Duncan Gillies, who first was a suspect but was later cleared. They told Mr. Gillies that Ms. Lane was pregnant twice while they were together, and the first baby was put up for adoption, and the second baby had disappeared. He said:
"In this whole story, I’m the biggest idiot in the world."
The missing baby never had a blood test, so it’s unknown if he’s the father.
Ms. Lane left college late in her pregnancy. She was a champion water-polo player and she was worried that teammates would begin to notice her weight gain. But nobody asked her about it, which surprised Ms. Lane:
"How do you tell people stuff like that? …I’m not passing the blame but how can people see me every day and not know? Not help? I couldn’t, what, just walk up on the doorstep and go, ‘Oh, hi, I had a baby yesterday.’
Ms. Lane had previously terminated two pregnancies and put two babies up for adoption in 1995 and 1999. She kept the pregnancies a secret. She is now married with another child.
She was arrested and charged with murder in 2009. Prosecutors said her motive was that she couldn’t be burdened with a baby because she wanted to become an Olympic athlete, and that her parents would disapprove and abandon her.
Kelli Lane at the beginning of her trial.
In 2010, after a four-month trial, and without finding any remains, 35-year old Keli Lane was found guilty of murdering her baby girl Tegan.
The coroner said the jury did the right thing:
"The jury has a lot of evidence before them; one of the things that probably influenced them was the lies that she told… In a way, I think her lies trapped her into a corner, and the jury heard all that and they decided that was enough."
Kelli Lane’s voice was recorded talking to a friend in 2004.
The baby who vanished, The Guardian>>
Keli Lane found guilty of killing baby, The Manly Daily>>