PAROLE GRANTED: Des Moines Mother Set Free

A Des Moines mother convicted of drowning her two week old son is about to become a free woman.  Heidi Anfinson is serving a 50 year prison sentence for the 1998 death of her infant son, Jacob.

This morning, the Iowa Board of Parole voted unanimously to release her from prison.

“I was just so excited when she said, Guess what, Heidi`s free.   I said what?”

Marietta Mitchell didn’t know if she’d ever see her 53 year old daughter become a free woman.

“Went crazy almost when they locked her up for this,” says Mitchell.

Anfinson’s family has always believed in her innocence.

“Of course I do. I don`t think she ever did anything  to cause Jacob`s death at all,” she says.

Jacob Anfinson died in 1998.  His mother went to prison for Second Degree Murder before the Iowa Supreme Court granted her a new trial.  Mitchell says the baby accidentally drowned at home in the bath tub and not knowing what to do, her daughter buried him up at Saylorville Lake. 

The second time around, Anfinson’s attorney argued that she suffered from post-partum depression.

“It’s not a natural thing for a mother to be charged with killing her own child so there had to be some other factors coming into play,” says Alfredo Parrish.

The board denied parole last year.  This time around, the Polk County Judge and prosecutor in the case wrote letters on Anfinson’s behalf.

“We are extremely happy about it,” says Parrish.

After serving more than a decade behind bars, Anfinson’s family wonders what life after prison looks like.

“I just want her to be happy,” says Mitchell. 

As part of the condition of her release, Anfinson is not allowed to work or live with minors.  While there is no set time frame, the parole board says it usually takes three to four weeks to get all the necessary paperwork in order.

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