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Fetus Stolen

March 19, 2015 permalink

An expectant mother in Longmont Colorado answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. When she arrived she was attacked by a woman who cut out her fetus. The baby died but the mother is expected to survive. No names have been released.



Longmont police: Woman stabbed, removed baby from victim's womb

A 26-year-old Longmont woman who was seven months pregnant showed up at a home Wednesday to buy baby clothes she'd seen in a Craigslist post.

What police say happened then is horrific: The 34-year-old woman who lives at the home, in the 1600 block of Green Place in Longmont, stabbed the pregnant woman and "removed" her baby.

The baby did not survive.

Police Cmdr. Jeff Satur said police responded to the home on a stabbing call at about 2:45 p.m.

Satur said officers arrived on the scene and could hear a woman calling for help inside the home. They entered and found the victim, who had been beaten and stabbed in the stomach with a knife.

Green Place, Longmont Colorado
Longmont Police on the scene of a stabbing on Green Place on Wednesday.
Matthew Jonas/ Staff photographer

The woman who was attacked was taken to Longmont United Hospital, where she underwent surgery and is expected to recover, he said.

Police located the suspect at the hospital after she apparently arrived with the baby and said she had suffered a miscarriage, Satur said.

He said the victim and suspect did not know each other. The pregnant woman was at the home to buy baby clothes through a Craigslist ad, officials said.

The suspect may be mentally ill, officials said. Names have not been released in the case.

"This is a tragic case for a mother right now," Satur said. "She came by this house. She was attacked, and her baby was removed from her."

The alleged assailant has two children, Satur said. Her husband apparently drove her and the baby to the hospital and then returned to the scene later. He was escorted to the hospital but has not been arrested and is not a suspect, Satur said.

The suspect was arrested at 7:45 p.m. at Longmont United Hospital on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly and recklessly resulting in death.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office will consider what charges are appropriate.

"The issues involving an unborn child are complicated under Colorado law," Garnett said. "In most circumstances, if a child was not actually born alive, then homicide charges are not possible. With a case like this, most of the time charges would not need to be filed until sometime next week."

Source: Longmont Times-Call

Addendum: Dynel Lane cut the baby from the belly of Michelle Wilkins. Lane had previously lost her own child to drowning. In most Cesarean kidnappings the mother does not survive. Attacker Lane had some technical knowledge because she was a Colorado certified nurse's aide. In later news Wilkins was released from the hospital.



Longmont 911 tape shows woman pleading for help after baby cut from womb

In a pain-filled voice frequently drifting into mumbled incoherence, a woman just weeks from giving birth tells a 911 operator that she is "bleeding out" in the basement of a Longmont home after responding to a Craigslist ad.

"She cut me," Michelle Wilkins tells the operator between moans and heavy breathing. "I'm pregnant."

The 6½-minute call is the anguished account of a woman who responded to an ad for baby clothes late Wednesday morning, only to be attacked by a woman who stabbed her in the belly and removed the 7-month-old fetus from her womb, according to police.

Michelle Wilkins
Michelle Wilkins
Courtesy Michelle Wilkins' family

The baby, who the Boulder County coroner's office said was female and in her 34th week, did not survive.

According to an arrest affidavit released Thursday, a doctor at Longmont United Hospital told police, "the person who did the incision would have to have researched the subject of cesarean births in books or online to achieve the level of accuracy."

Police have arrested Dynel Catrece Lane, 34, in connection with the stabbing. They say Lane, who was a Colorado certified nurse's aide from 2010 to 2012, attacked Wilkins, 26, at Lane's modest blue apartment in the 1600 block of Green Place.

Police have not yet said what happened from the time Wilkins arrived at Lane's home at 11:51 a.m. to the time Wilkins placed the 911 call at 2:41 p.m. — nearly three hours later.

"Don't go to sleep," dispatcher Beth Kemper repeatedly pleads with Wilkins while assuring her help is on the way.

Four minutes into the 911 call, Wilkins repeats "Help, help me." She told Kemper the stabbing happened when she was "trying to leave." After hearing the doorbell ring, Wilkins perks up at the end of the call as police arrive, telling Kemper, "Yeah, they're here. They're here."

The Wilkins family said in a statement Thursday evening: "Michelle is in critical but stable condition and resting comfortably."

The family thanked Longmont police and the staff at Longmont United Hospital, adding: "We are thankful for the outpouring of love and support from the local community and others who have expressed their condolences. We know you are grieving too, and we truly appreciate the support."

Officials said Wilkins and Lane did not know each other.

Unsafe for release

Lane made her first court appearance in the case on Thursday at the Boulder County jail, where a judge ordered her held on $2 million bail after a prosecutor said "there are no conditions that could make this defendant safe" for release.

Dynel Lane
A photo of Longmont stabbing suspect Dynel Lane posted to her Facebook page in April 2014.
Photo via Facebook

Lane was not in the courtroom; she was in a side room away from the gallery. A deputy held a door open just enough so she could hear the proceedings through a crack. Boulder County assistant district attorney Ryan Brackley said in court that "this was an extremely violent act, a premeditated act."

Lane did not speak during the hearing and left the courtroom clad in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackled, her head bowed as she shuffled away.

She is being held on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly and recklessly resulting in death. The Boulder County district attorney's office says it plans to file formal charges Wednesday.

According to the police report, Lane showed her two teenage daughters an ultrasound in December and told them she was having a baby boy.

The report says Lane's husband, David Ridley, came home at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday to take his wife to a prenatal checkup and was met at the stairs by Lane, who was covered in blood.

She told her husband that she had a miscarriage and that the baby was in the bathtub upstairs. Ridley said he "rubbed the baby slightly then rolled it over to hear and see it take a gasping breath."

He then drove his wife and the baby to the hospital. He left the hospital to return home to get his stepdaughters, and it was then that he encountered police.

Police located Lane at Longmont United Hospital, where she told staff members she had a miscarriage. A Longmont police detective reported seeing no signs of Lane having given birth and she refused to submit to an examination.

She then admitted to the detective that "she cut (Wilkins') abdomen open" to remove the baby. Lane was arrested at the hospital at 7:46 p.m.

Arrest charges only

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said Thursday before the hearing that the charges Lane is being held on "are arrest charges only," making it clear that a determination of the counts she faces has yet to be completed.

One of the primary questions his office will have to grapple with, Garnett said, is whether the baby lived independently outside Wilkins' womb. He said it's unclear how long the fetus would have to live outside the womb to be considered a child.

"It's not a defined time," Garnett said at a news conference.

Garnett says if Lane is not charged with murder in the baby's death, she could face a charge related to the unwanted termination of a pregnancy.

The baby is scheduled to undergo an autopsy Friday, Garnett said. Lane's public defender asked in court Thursday that an expert witness for the defense be present at the autopsy.

"In this particular case, the cause of death is going to be essential," the public defender said.

Lane, who has a Facebook page under the name Dynel C. Ridley, last posted a message to her page March 12. She is pictured with a man in several photos in her timeline. On Sept. 30, 2014, a friend posted a comment under one of those photos, congratulating Lane for being pregnant.

"You guys are a cute couple and I am 100% you are going to have just an equally cute baby," the friend wrote.

Chelsea McKnight, of Denver, said she worked with Lane at Seniors' Resource Center in Lakewood in 2012 caring for Alzheimers and dementia patients. She was shocked to hear the news.

"Knowing Dynel, I can't fathom her doing this," McKnight said. "For her, it must have been a total mental break — or maybe I never knew her."

She said Lane appeared pregnant late last year and even told her she had had a baby boy. But she said Lane never invited her to see the baby and told her she wasn't going to post pictures of the child on Facebook.

"I thought it was odd," McKnight said. "I thought she would go crazy with photos of him."

Lane lists herself on Facebook as an assistant manager at Once Upon a Child, which is a consignment store for used baby clothes. The manager at the Longmont store said Lane had never worked for her — under the name Lane or Ridley. Calls to Once Upon a Child stores in Arvada and Fort Collins yielded the same answer.

Garnett said his office is looking into the suspect's mental health in determining what charges to file.

"We're looking very thoroughly through Ms. Lane's history," he said.

Son drowned in 2002

Nearly 13 years ago, Lane lost a 19-month-old son when he drowned in a backyard fish pond, according to a 2002 story published by The Pueblo Chieftain.

The July 3 story stated that Lane, who then went by her married name Dynel Cruz, performed CPR on her son after finding him unconscious in the decorative pond.

Assistant Pueblo County Sheriff Chip DeLuca told the newspaper that the boy and his sisters "were eating and playing a game while their mother was occupied in another part of the house" when the boy went missing.

DeLuca told the Chieftain that "at first glance, this tragedy looks completely accidental."

Quiet cul de sac

The chaos Wednesday has rattled the typically quiet cul de sac in Longmont, which is lined by modest rentals and dotted with trees. On Thursday afternoon, a stream of cars made its way down the street to catch a glimpse of a home that is now making headlines across the country.

Police asked anyone who has been in contact with Lane to call 303-651-8501.

Source: Denver Post