The defendant who allegedly lured a pregnant woman with an online job post and then killed her is now being federally prosecuted for causing the unborn child’s death. Amber Waterman, 43, and her husband Jamie Waterman, 43, were charged Tuesday in a superseding indictment out of the Western District of Missouri.
The murder of Ashley Bush, 33, was so shocking that even Arkansas authorities, Benton County Sheriff Shawn Holloway and Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith, have said they had never before seen anything like it. Authorities claim that Amber Waterman planned on taking Bush’s unborn child, Valkyrie Grace Willis, as her own, back to her home in Pineville, Missouri.
Amber Waterman, operating under the online pseudonym “Lucy Barrows,” created a fictitious job post on Facebook, authorities allege. Bush, who was 31 weeks pregnant with Valkyrie, pursued the offer and first met “Barrows” at a library in Gravette, Arkansas, officials said. Then the women agreed to meet at a convenience store in Maysville. Bush’s fiancée, Joshua Willis, dropped her off that Oct. 31, 2022; it was the last time he saw her alive. From there, federal authorities said Bush believed she would travel with “Lucy” to Bentonville to meet a purported supervisor and then be returned to the convenience store.
But Bush never returned, and Willis reported her missing. Investigators discovered Bush was shot and killed, then burned. Her baby was found in another location. McDonald County Coroner BJ Goodwin said that it looked like the baby was “cut out” of her mother, according to KFSM in a Nov. 4, 2022, report.
“People do evil things. And that someone would prey upon a pregnant woman at her most vulnerable state is unimaginable, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in,” Smith said.
Amber Waterman previously pleaded not guilty in federal court to one count of kidnapping resulting in death. Jamie Waterman pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact.
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