A Milwaukee woman was arrested Monday after she removed a pregnant mother’s full-term fetus from her womb with an Exacto knife in an attempt to steal the unborn baby.
Annette Morales-Rodriguez, 33, a mother of three, wanted a son with her boyfriend. She faked her pregnancy and panicked as her hypothetical delivery due date grew near and attacked the 23-year-old pregnant mother with a baseball bat and cut her fetus, killing both the unborn baby and the mother, according to court documents filed Monday.
The accused woman faces two counts of first-degree intended homicide while armed in the deaths of Maritza Ramirez-Cruz and the unborn baby boy she was due to deliver next week.
According to the criminal complaint filed Monday, Morales-Rodriguez told detectives her boyfriend wanted a baby boy but she could not get pregnant. She pretended that she was pregnant but then she started panicking as her delivery date approached near.
On Wednesday, she drove around her neighborhood looking for a pregnant woman but she found none. Again on Thursday she drove around in search of a pregnant woman and came to a nonprofit organization that provides Hispanics with health care and there she found Ramirez-Cruz and offered her ride to the local drug store.
Under the pretext of changing shoes, she told the pregnant woman that would make a stop at her home for some time.
The pregnant woman was using Morales-Rodriguez's bathroom when Morales-Rodriguez taped her mouth, hands and feet with duct tape and struck her head several times with a baseball bat, said the complaint.
“She cut at the bikini line imitating the process she had seen on Discovery Channel, showing a surgical procedure of the birth,” the district attorney wrote in the complaint.
Morales-Rodriguez said the baby was not breathing when she pulled out the fetus. She smeared some blood around her thighs to make it appear that she bled while giving birth. She then called paramedics and reported that she gave birth to a stillborn in the shower.
“Morales-Rodriguez said she gave a birth to a stillborn baby, Police Chief Ed Flynn said during a news conference.
The baby was declared dead at the scene.
A post-mortem report discovered that the baby wasn't born naturally. Police then took Morales-Rodriguez's back to the hospital for an examination and verified that she hadn't given birth and officers arrested her.
Police returned to Morales-Rodriguez's home where they found the body of the mother in the basement by the hot water heater.
Morales-Rodriguez appeared in court Monday. Her bail was set at $1 million bond and faces life in prison if convicted.
She is set to appear in court on Oct. 19 for a first round of hearing.