• A 23-year-old woman's unborn baby girl was missing from her womb when she was found dead in Brazil in September 2020
  • The post-mortem suggested the woman gave birth naturally before she was killed
  • A forensic medicine expert suggested that the baby was likely kidnapped

Mystery surrounds the case of a 23-year-old pregnant woman who was found dead in Brazil last year with her unborn baby missing from her womb.

Brazilian police are investigating the murder of Thaysa Campos dos Santos, who was found lifeless in September 2020 in a stream beside a railway line in the neighborhood of Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro, 7News reported. The victim, who was a manicurist, was reportedly eight months pregnant at the time.

However, the woman’s unborn baby girl was missing from her womb when she was found, the outlet reported, citing recently accessed documents.

According to the post-mortem, the baby was not surgically removed from her womb, which suggested that the woman gave birth naturally.

The woman went missing on Sept. 3, 2020. When she was found seven days later, her body was already in a state of putrefaction.

Campos dos Santos was separated from the father of her two children. She allegedly had a relationship with a married man who fathered her baby, who was due in October 2020, the report said.

Nelson Massini, professor of forensic medicine at Rio de Janeiro State University, suggested that the missing baby girl may have been kidnapped. The expert said that it's possible the pregnant woman went into labor as she was being murdered.

Jacqueline Campos, an educational psychologist and the mother of the victim, also said she believes her "granddaughter may be alive and that Thaysa had a forced birth."

"My relatives were at the crime scene and there was no trace of the child there, just Thaysa’s body. I found out at the morgue that she had given birth," Campos was quoted by 7News as saying.

She continued, "I want to make an appeal to the authorities: if this child is alive, I want my granddaughter back. I need my little granddaughter."

The victim's death remains under investigation, and the search continues for the baby girl. Police have not revealed any possible suspects or a possible motive for the murder of the woman as of this writing.

Authorities were able to obtain footage taken by a security camera that allegedly captured the victim's last moments, Brazilian newspaper Extra reported, citing relatives of the woman who viewed the video.

The video showed Campos dos Santos allegedly being approached by a man from behind when she was returning home after visiting a friend. The unidentified man allegedly grabbed her by the neck.

The woman was able to break free for a moment before she was once more allegedly grabbed by the neck and taken toward the railway point, where she was later found dead. The man was described in the report as "short in stature, curly hair, slightly bald and appeared to be limping on one leg."

crime scene
Representative image Wikimedia Commons