A baby who was cut from her mother's womb during a grisly slaying was found in good health today, bringing relief to authorities who had spent the last day frantically searching for the little girl.
MARYVILLE, Mo. A baby who was cut from her mother’s womb during a grisly slaying was found in good health today, bringing relief to authorities who had spent the last day frantically searching for the little girl.
Two people were taken into custody, and the baby was transported to a hospital in Topeka, Kan., authorities said.
Although DNA results were pending, “We’re confident we have the little girl that was taken from Skidmore,” Nodaway County Sheriff Ben Espey said during a news conference in Maryville, noting that the Amber Alert issued for the baby had been canceled.
FBI agent Rick Thornton said the father has been reunited with baby.
The discovery of the baby and possible arrests came a day after Bobbi Jo Stinnett’s mother found the 23-year-old nearly dead in Stinnett’s northwest Missouri home. Paramedics tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Espey said he believes Stinnett was strangled and resisted the attack, and authorities hoped that strands of hair found in her hands will help them find out who killed her. They were awaiting DNA testing to confirm the newborn is that of Stinnett, a factory worker who was eight months pregnant.
“The autopsy is going to show us there was some blond hair probably found in her hands,” the sheriff said. “That would also help us with the DNA.”
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Lyon said authorities were questioning a man and a woman who were in the same place as where the baby was found in eastern Kansas. A red Honda hatchback matching a description offered earlier by police was in the driveway of the home.
Espey said there was no indication of forced entry into Stinnett’s small white home in this community of about 500 in the northwest corner of Missouri.
A neighbor, Bill Dragoo, said Stinnett and her husband raised dogs and “didn’t bother anybody. It blows my mind that this happened. She was such a shy person. They didn’t deserve this.”
Espey was frustrated that it took hours for a statewide Amber Alert to be issued. The mother was found around 3:30 p.m, and the Amber Alert didn’t appear until nine hours later.
“We had a live baby, and I thought that should qualify as an Amber Alert,” he said. “The information I was getting was that we didn’t have enough information such as hair color, eye color, skin complexion, size and weight.”
Stinnett, married for little more than a year and expecting her first child, worked at an engine factory in nearby Maryville. Her husband was at work at the time she was killed, authorities said.
Several pregnant women have been killed in recent years by attackers who then removed their fetuses, in some cases to pass the children off as their own.
In the most recent case, a 21-year-old woman was shot to death in Oklahoma in December 2003, allegedly by another woman who pretended the 6-month-old fetus was her child. The fetus died and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.