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Clarkfield, Minn., woman admits being mother of newborns found dead in S.D., authorities say

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. -- A Clarkfield woman interviewed this month in a homicide investigation admitted giving birth to two babies whose remains were discovered last fall on a family member's property in eastern South Dakota, court documents say.

Kelly Jean Anderson-Person, 34, formerly of Hendricks, was interviewed Aug. 13 by two South Dakota investigators in the homicide case and now is subject to a civil commitment hearing after she pulled a gun with her right hand and pointed it at her head while holding her infant child with her left hand, according to civil commitment documents filed in Yellow Medicine County. She was disarmed in a struggle and no one was injured.

The petition for commitment filed by Yellow Medicine County Family Services states that in an interview with investigators, Anderson-Person acknowledged being pregnant in 2009 and 2011 and acknowledged that the infant remains found in South Dakota were babies she had birthed. The document does not indicate whether there was discussion about how the babies died or about how the remains came to be located in a tree grove on family property.

Anderson-Person, referred to as Kelly Anderson in other court documents, has been held at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar since Aug. 13. Originally held under an emergency admission, she waived her right to a preliminary hearing and will be held until the commitment hearing scheduled for Friday, according to the civil commitment filings in Yellow Medicine County. Not all documents in the matter are in the public file.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation has been leading the homicide investigation since the discovery in November of the remains near Fish Lake. The Deuel County land in rural Astoria, S.D., is owned by a family member of Anderson-Person, and there is a cabin there that she has permission to use, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Yellow Medicine County. The affidavit also detailed several leads investigators followed that she had appeared pregnant at two different times in recent years and did not later have a baby.

Court records checks show that no criminal charges against Anderson-Person have been filed in Minnesota as of today, and no charges had been filed against her in South Dakota as of Monday.

Susan Lunneborg
Susan Lunneborg is news editor of the West Central Tribune. She joined the staff in Willmar in 1999 and has been a newspaper journalist for more than 20 years. She can be reached directly at the email linked here, but for the most timely response, please send news releases to the Tribune's general news email:
(320) 235-1150