H O L D E N V I L L E, Okla., Dec. 30, 2003 -- The hunter who stumbled upon the body of a slain woman on a remote farm could have never imagined the sordid story behind her gruesome death.
The body of 21-year-old Carolyn Simpson was found Friday with a gunshot wound to the head, her abdomen sliced open and her fetus removed.
Police say the gruesome slaying was the work of 37-year-old Effie Goodson, a woman who knew Simpson and who had convinced her husband and friends that she, too, was pregnant.
When she appeared in court today Goodson pleaded innocent to murder and kidnapping charges. She also said she was feeling ill.
The woman charged in the murder of Simpson leaned on two deputies as she entered the Hughes County courtroom, with her long hair hanging over her face.
As the judge read the charges against her, she leaned forward, spitting into a wastebasket at her feet.
Goodson told Associate District Judge Gregg Smith she was going through withdrawal because she hasn't had her medication.
Hughes County Assistant District Attorney Linda Evans said she did not know what medication Goodson was referring to.
Investigators say Simpson and Goodson met at a tribal casino in Okemah, where Simpson worked, about one month ago. Investigators believe the two left the casino together last Monday because Simpson needed a ride home. That was the last time Simpson was seen.
Goodson, however, showed up the next day at a Holdenville hospital with a dead fetus, which had reached six months gestation.
Evans said Goodson claimed to be the mother, but investigators determined she could not have given birth, and she was taken into custody.
"I've seen a lot of really tragic cases where there have been people that have acted in mean, evil ways and this is one of those cases," Evans said.
Simpson's aunts, Dianne and Cathy, who asked that their last names not be used, said Simpson's trusting and kind nature could have ended up hurting her in the end.
"She is very friendly and outgoing and trusting and that's what I think got her in trouble," Cathy said.
Her aunt Dianne said the family is devastated by the loss of Simpson and her unborn baby. "She was such a sweet girl. She liked everybody and always had a smile on her face," Dianne said.
Dianne and Cathy say Simpson may have been able to save the life of her father, who is in need of a new kidney. Now they say they worry they will lose him too.
Deputy Wayne Metcalf of the Hughes County Sheriff's Office said Goodson's husband and others truly believed she was expecting.
"She did have a baby shower, and she told everybody she was due to have a baby boy, that was what we found during our investigation," Metcalf said.
Goodson, who is facing a charge of kidnapping and two counts offirst-degree murder, declined to make a statement as she was led from the courtroom. Her next appearance is scheduled for Jan. 27.
Oklahoma courts have ruled that murder charges can be filed in the killing of a fetus if it can be proved that the fetus could have survived outside the womb. Under the state's abortion law, a fetus is presumed viable after the 24th week.
Simpson's family has set up a fund in her memory.
Simpson Memorial FundCarroll County Trust Company 2 South Folger Carrollton, Mo. 64633