Meta, the parent company of Facebook, turned over messages that were sent between a Nebraska mother and daughter discussing an illegal abortion.
41-year-old Jessica Burgess gave her 17-year-old daughter, Celeste, abortion pills to terminate her 29-week pregnancy.
Abortions are legal in Nebraska until 20 weeks of gestation and abortion pills are typically used within 11 weeks of conception.
Detective Ben McBride said a friend of Celeste told authorities that she’d seen her take the first abortion pill.
This tip launched an investigation which eventually turned up a search warrant that gave McBride six smartphones and seven laptops from the Burgesses. Meta was also handed a warrant in which McBride demanded access to chat messages sent between the mother and daughter.
Through the investigation, McBride learned that Jessica Burgess purchased the pills for Celeste and even messaged her, reminding her to take both pills, 24 hours apart. After the pregnancy was terminated they both buried the fetus, away from home.
Authorities said they recovered the fetus with evidence of “thermal injuries.”
Celeste, now 18-years-old, is being charged as an adult. She’s charged with removing/concealing or abandoning a human body, concealing the death of another person, and false reporting.
Jessica is charged with performing an abortion as a non-doctor, removing/concealing or abandoning a human body, concealing a death, and false reporting.