At the beginning of June, the allegations against Jessica Burgess (41) and her daughter Celeste Burgess (18) were not minor: hiding the death of another person, false reporting and hiding or leaving a body. It wasn’t until about a month later, after investigators reviewed private messages from those involved on Facebook, that they added charges of illegal abortion against mother and daughter. The daughter, who is now 18, is being charged as an adult at the prosecutor’s request.

    The Journal Star cited court records in which Celeste Burgess initially told police she gave birth to her stillborn baby unexpectedly in the shower. She and her mother would then bag the fetus and drive it in a box a few miles north of town to bury the body there.

    But according to several American media, the police continued with the investigation after a tip was received from a friend of the teenager. He said she saw Celeste Burgess taking an abortion pill. A search warrant addressed to Facebook gave police access to Celeste and Jessica Burgess’ accounts. Their private messages revealed that the mother had helped her daughter with the abortion by providing her with abortion pills and the instructions for use. Celeste would have been 23 weeks pregnant at the time. In Nebraska, it is illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks.


    In one of the Facebook posts, Jessica Burgess tells her 17-year-old daughter that she got her abortion pills and instructs her on how to take them to end the pregnancy. According to court records, the daughter is talking about how she can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body.

    According to Politico the fetus showed signs of “thermal wounds,” which would indicate that the fetus was burned. The article also states that the daughter confirmed in the Facebook messages with her mother that the two “would burn the evidence afterwards.”

    Request “examined”

    A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the details of the case, but the company says employees “always scrutinize any government request to ensure it is lawful,” the spokesperson said. Politico. Facebook also reports that it will not respond to requests it finds invalid or too broad.

    It is one of the few known cases in which Facebook has passed on information to help authorities prosecute an abortion case after the US Supreme Court’s decision in June to dismiss Roe v. Wade.

    Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision in June, Facebook and Instagram immediately began removing posts offering abortion pills to women who may not have access to them in their state.