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Authorities arrest mother

Jody Weaver, the mother who authorities say kept her dead 2-year-old daughter, Destiny, for two weeks in her Grand Forks apartment with two other small children, was booked into the Grand Forks County jail Thursday afternoon, a day after her arrest.

Jody Weaver, the mother who authorities say kept her dead 2-year-old daughter, Destiny, for two weeks in her Grand Forks apartment with two other small children, was booked into the Grand Forks County jail Thursday afternoon, a day after her arrest.

Weaver was arrested without incident Wednesday outside the rural home of her boyfriend, Charles Smith, near Grygla, Minn., said Brad Barker of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. She spent Wednesday night in jail in Thief River Falls.

Weaver, 38, was charged July 11 by the Grand Forks County State's Attorney's office with neglect and abuse of her two other small children, including Destiny's twin, for exposing them for two weeks to their sister's corpse. Destiny was 2 when she died more than five months ago. BCA Agent Don Newhouse, who has worked on the case from the start, picked up Weaver on Wednesday on a warrant out of Grand Forks.

Both felony counts against Weaver carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. She also is charged with willful disturbance of a dead body, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $2,000 fine, and a lesser charge of failing to report a death. Weaver is expected to make an initial court appearance in Grand Forks on the charges this afternoon.

Her boyfriend, Clarence Smith, was charged with the same misdemeanors in the case: disturbance of a dead body and failing to report Destiny's death. A warrant remained out Thursday on Smith, who apparently remained at his home. He did not return calls.

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Last week, a Grand Forks prosecutor said he expects Smith to appear on the charges.

Destiny died about Feb. 1 in Grand Forks after suffering flu-like symptoms for several days, Weaver told police. But her death went unreported until Feb. 12, when Smith contacted authorities in Thief River Falls. On Feb. 12, Weaver and Smith had put Destiny's body in a plastic container in the trunk of a car and transported it from Grand Forks to St. Hilaire, Minn., where Smith called the Pennington County Sheriff's Office in Thief River Falls.

Why they took the child's body to St. Hilaire still isn't clear, although it happens to be about half way between Grand Forks and Smith's home near Grygla.

After an autopsy and extensive tests, no cause of death could be determined, largely because of the body's decomposition, said Jason McCarthy, the assistant state's attorney who charged Weaver and Smith last week. But he called her death "suspicious and unusual."

People who know Weaver told the Herald that Weaver's two surviving small children were taken from her and placed in protective custody after Destiny's death came to light.

McCarthy said the unusual case required an unusually long time to complete medical and forensic testing before he could bring charges against Weaver and Smith.

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