Fleeing Las Vegas

On July 13, 1997, a man called a Las Vegas, Nevada, hospital requesting aid. Saying his girlfriend had just given birth in a hotel room, he asked the hospital to send an ambulance. When the receptionist began asking questions, the caller abruptly hung up.

Approximately an hour later, the man called 911 and told the same story. He requested an ambulance but asked that they not involve the police. When he was asked to provide more information, he again hung up.

Suspicious, the 911 dispatcher contacted the police, and within five minutes, a police officer and an ambulance arrived at the Lady Luck Hotel.

When the personnel entered the room, they found a man and woman lying on a bed. Both were calm. The responders were disgusted by where the newborn baby was found. The infant lay face down in the toilet.

The couple was identified as 35-year-old Kevin Woo and his 30-year-old girlfriend, Kristine Westin. They claimed the baby had been born dead while Westin was on the toilet.

Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin were drug addicts and shoplifted expensive merchandise from department stores to finance their addiction. Each had previously served time in prison for theft and had warrants out for their arrest. As repeat offenders, they were looking at significant jail time.

Three days before the baby’s birth, Westin and Woo arrived in Las Vegas and were up to their old tricks. They are believed to have stolen money from several retail stores before spending the next 72 hours doing their usual partying, drinking, and drugs. It was business as usual until the premature birth of their child.

Woo followed in his car as Westin was transported to the hospital. As police questioned him at the hospital, Woo grew nervous and excused himself, ironically, to use the bathroom. He never returned.

When questioning Westin, police were struck by her calm demeanor. She repeatedly inquired about her belongings in the hotel room. However, the woman who had just given birth made no inquiries of her baby and appeared to have no remorse over the death.

With the cause of the baby’s death still undetermined, investigators had no grounds to arrest Westin. Because she was fine physically, the hospital had no medical reason to detain her. That evening, she checked herself out.

A pathologist determined the cause of the male infant’s death was asphyxiation. The air in his lungs and stomach meant he had been born alive. The pathologist wrote, “An effort to breathe, at least a gasp, had to have taken place.” Also, “He [the baby] had to have been outside of the mother to get air.”

Cocaine and a cocaine by-product were found in the baby’s bloodstream, meaning Westin had ingested the drug within 24 hours of the infant’s birth. Investigators could not determine the amount of cocaine in her system and the frequency of her drug use. Nor could it be determined whether the drugs caused the premature birth. However, they did discover that 40 minutes had elapsed from the time the infant was born until Woo called 911.

The pathologist said the baby could have lived had he been removed from the water immediately or within a few seconds. He concluded his report by stating, “By allowing it to stay in the water without any obvious effort to resuscitate it places this in the non-accidental area and is therefore homicidal.”

When Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin arrived in Las Vegas, they were minor league crooks wanted on shoplifting charges. The couple’s sins were more severe by the time they left sin city. Westin and Woo had graduated to charges of carjacking, child abuse, and, potentially, murder.

Two days after the charges were filed, Woo and Westin are believed to have stolen a pickup truck in Henderson, Nevada. It was found abandoned in Los Angeles three days later.

For nearly six years, Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin eluded detection. It was their old habits that led to their downfall.

In March of 2003, Westin was arrested in Lynwood, Washington, for shoplifting. The police then tracked Woo to the motel where the fugitive couple was living. After a thirty-hour stand-off, Woo put a bullet in his head.

In her nearly six years on the run, Westin had been arrested twice in California and Washington on shoplifting and burglary charges. Each time, she produced false identification and was released before authorities learned her true identity.

Kristine Westin eventually plead guilty to felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison but was released for good behavior after undergoing treatment for her drug addiction. She served eight and a half years.

The Las Vegas Chapter of the Knights of Columbus named Woo and Westin’s son Kyle gave him a proper burial.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Info:
Las Vegas Sun
Seattle Times
Unsolved Mysteries


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More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


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