Seven days after Broussard and her baby were reported missing, authorities said they found Broussard’s body stuffed into the trunk of a different car parked outside of a home in a Northwest Houston suburb.

HOUSTON — Resting on the seat of Heidi Broussard’s vehicle Friday was a week-old shopping list of holiday items she planned to buy for her 3-week-old daughter Margot Carey, but now never will.


Seven days after Broussard and her baby were reported missing, authorities said they found Broussard’s body stuffed into the trunk of a different car parked outside of a home in a Northwest Houston suburb.


Broussard was strangled to death with an undisclosed implement, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. Officials have ruled her death a homicide.


Austin and Houston police officials said discoveries in the case Friday point toward a plot to kill Broussard and kidnap her newborn.


An infant believed to be Margot was found alive at the home where Broussard’s body was found, officials said. Authorities were waiting for DNA testing late Friday to officially confirm the baby’s identity.


Austin police officers arrested and charged one person Friday with two counts of kidnapping and one count of tampering with a corpse. Although Austin officials declined to confirm that person’s identity, citing a need to protect the integrity of the investigation, Harris County arrest records show Magen Rose Fieramusca, 33, was arrested Friday on those charges, with bail set at $600,000.


Friday’s developments mark a tragic end to a missing person’s case that captured national attention and confounded authorities since Broussard dropped off her son at an Austin elementary school on the morning of Dec. 12 and was not heard from again.


People following the case online created a Reddit page and more than two dozen Facebook groups to discuss the details of the investigation and speculate about what might have happened to Broussard and her daughter.


Authorities said they followed local leads in the days after the disappearances, which eventually brought them to the doorstep of a home on Bo Jack Drive northwest of downtown Houston. That home, according to property tax records, belongs to a man named Christopher Green.


Neighbors Friday confirmed Green lives with Fieramusca.


Law enforcement officials told the American-Statesman they suspect Fieramusca pretended to be pregnant during Broussard’s pregnancy and plotted to kidnap Margot even before she was born.


Background searches link Fieramusca to two aliases, Megan Hymphrey and Maygen Humphrey.


As of Friday, there was a baby registry for Christopher Green and Maygen Humphrey at registry.thebump.com.


Green told authorities he believed Fieramusca was pregnant with his child. He said he thought she had given birth to the baby while he was out of town.


Authorities said Broussard and Fieramusca might have met at a faith-based group years ago. In a 2013 Facebook post, Broussard calls Maygen Humphrey her “best friend.”


Authorities say they have information placing Fieramusca’s car in the Austin area around the time of Broussard’s disappearance.


Eric Devlin, a lawyer who represented Fieramusca after she was accused of stealing $5,000 from a cash express store in Humble where she worked, told the American-Statesman that Fieramusca “looked pregnant” at a recent court appearance. Charges in that case were dismissed.


The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has collected data on at least 327 infant abductions that occurred in the U.S. from January 1964 until October 2019. Its research found 41 of those cases were in Texas.


In nearly 12% of the infant abductions in those years, the mother died, according to the data.


Characteristics of a typical infant abductor include a “female of child-bearing age who appears to be pregnant,” the research shows.


Darryl Ehlert, who has lived on Bo Jack Drive for the past 35 years, told the Statesman that Green and Fieramusca have lived next door to his home for more than two years. Ehlert said he learned of the connection between his neighbors and the missing mother and child after he woke up Friday morning.


“It’s pretty scary,” he said. “It’s not something you expect.”


Ehlert said he never really spoke to Fieramusca, who he said was “standoffish.” He did, however, speak to Green a few times about yard work, he said.


“I saw her once about a month ago, and she looked like she might be pregnant,” Ehlert said. “But she also might have just gained weight. I wasn’t sure. I thought, ‘Well, maybe next time I see Chris (Green) I’ll ask him.’”


Broussard’s vehicle was still parked outside her South Austin apartment complex on West William Cannon Drive on Friday. Inside were several items belonging to her children, including a baseball glove and car seat.


Several neighbors outside of Broussard’s apartment Friday shared fond memories of the mother, her boyfriend and children.


Taylor Riordan said his children would often play with Broussard’s at the complex. He, along with other neighbors, said she was very friendly and happy.


“It sends chills through my body,” Riordan said. “As a husband and father, this is the worst situation you can imagine.”