Killer mom wants to see daughter

Chicago Sun Times ^ | 12/05/06 | STEVE PATTERSON
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 1:37:32 PM by Borges
She now wants prison visits with 5-year-old
In 1998, police say, Heather Corman wrapped her newborn baby boy in a Mickey Mouse towel, then stuffed a blue sock in his mouth, put a plastic bag filled with garbage over his head, wrapped a necktie twice tightly around his neck, stuffed his tiny body into a garbage bag and then threw him into a pond to die.
Now, Corman — convicted of killing her baby boy — wants the right to be a mother.
In a Cook County courtroom Monday, Corman asked a judge to grant her regular visitation — in prison — with the 5-year-old daughter she had while out on bond.
But the girl’s father, Robert Flick, has taken steps to erase Corman from their daughter’s life. The girl hasn’t seen her mother since she was a toddler, calls Flick’s fiancee “mom” and has no memory of her birth mother.
“Heather was already convicted of killing one child,” Flick testified. “There’s no guarantee [the girl] would not be harmed by Heather.”
Corman, 28, says no matter how heinous a crime she’s been convicted of, she still has a right to be in her child’s life.
“I love her — she’s my daughter,” she testified during the weeklong trial heard by Judge Eileen Brewer. “Every child needs to know their mother.”
Corman was living with her parents on the East Side when she became pregnant with her second child at 20 –and hid it from them before giving birth on their bathroom floor.
She told police a male friend then came in and took the baby from her. In court, she said it was her sister.
But a month after he was born, a group of kids found the baby floating in a Hammond pond, just off Interstate 94.
For days, he remained unclaimed and residents adopted him, calling him “Baby Angel” and giving him a proper burial.
But among the tampons and candy wrappers wrapped around his head were torn pieces of a note with Corman’s name written on it.
She was arrested and charged with killing the boy she’s since named “Emmanuel,” but while out on bond, met Flick, who said he believed she didn’t do it.
Before she could even go to trial, they were married and she was pregnant again.
But as the trial came closer, Flick said, he wondered about how her answers to his questions about the crime changed. In December 2001, when their daughter was 6 months old, he filed for divorce.
After her 2002 conviction, he took their baby on periodic visits to the Dwight Correctional Center — until, he said, the strip searches and traumatic impact on the girl became too much.
Corman has not seen or heard about her child since.
Corman never cried as details of her baby’s death were read aloud in court, though she smiled and wept as she passed through pictures of her daughter at Disney World and heard about how she’s taking ballet.
Though Flick, who lives in Indiana, is battling Corman’s attempts to re-enter her daughter’s life, the child’s court-appointed guardian says it would be in her best interest to be gradually re-introduced to her birth mother, no matter what she’s been convicted of.
“She needs to be made aware that her mother exists,” guardian Lester Barclay said. “[Corman] can never be replaced as [the girl’s] mom.”