Warning: This article deals with the sensitive topic of fetal abductions. While there are no gruesome photos and only limited descriptions are in the article … we advise this is an “adult” article.
Evil. Just pure evil.
A rare and terrifying criminal act recently made the news. Fetal abduction, with approximately just around 30 cases reported throughout the decades, happened again just this year in Chicago.
As illogical as it may be, what causes individuals to commit such an act? Let us try to make some sense out of this madness…
What are Fetal Abductions?
Considered as a form of child abduction, fetal abductions are defined as the act of kidnapping a pregnant woman and taking the fetus through forced caesarean section delivery.
The bizarre act does have some common motives attached to it:
- The abductor feels the need to have a baby (possibly because of a miscarriage and the like)
- The abductor wants to fulfill a need for his or her partner
Regardless of the reason, fetal abduction motives tend to fall into the realm of the absurd. Kenna Quinet, coauthor of “The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder”, stated that another reason why perpetrators do this twisted crime is because on “motherhood by proxy”.
With the term coined by Quinet herself, this sort of syndrome is a dysfunctional way for a person (typically, a female) to keep his or her partner in their relationship.
It is a strange notion – but it happened, and may continue to still happen. It was also observed that the first recorded fetal abduction was last 1987. Quinet claimed that there were no earlier documentation before that year because of hospital security improving security protocols during that decade.
Also, and just to clearly define the act, contemporary fetal abductions shouldn’t be connected to fetal murder. These are two different criminal acts.
Cut the Womb: Some Fetal Abduction Cases that Rattled the Public
Fetal abductions, as rare as they can be, do happen.
As a way to create some awareness on this devious criminal act, we’d like to highlight some fetal abduction cases that terrified the public the past couple of years.
Technically not a fetal abduction – but the intention to rip the baby from the mother’s womb was there.
Teka Adams was stuck in a tight spot. Aged 29, homeless, and with not a single penny to spend, Adams sought help in a homeless shelter. This is where she met Veronica Deramous, who promised the soon-to-be mother some clothes for the baby.
Excited, Adams headed over to Deramous’ apartment. Instead of care, Adams got her head hit with a fire poker instead.
Held captive for four excruciating days in the apartment, Deramous attempted to get to Adams’ fetus by cutting up the pregnant woman’s belly with razor blades.
Luck was on Adams’ side, though. Groggy and clinging on to her (and her baby’s) life, she was able to escape, catching the attention of Deramous’ neighbor. Authorities were called to the scene, capturing Deramous and her accomplice (her 17-year-old son).
This case does have a happy ending. Adams successfully delivered her baby after her ordeal in a hospital. Her baby’s name is Miracle.
Photo credit: The Washington Post, 2010-06-16
Deramous, on the other hand, was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
It began with a Craigslist post. It ended up with a baby’s death.
Michelle Wilkins was happy that someone wanted to give away free baby clothes on Craigslist. Responding to the ad that a certain Dynel Lane posted, Wilkins then went to Lane’s place to get the clothes.
She was, instead, stabbed. Lane then proceeded to carve Wilkins in her basement, extracting the fetus from within the womb.
Lane’s husband was in for a shock when he arrived home from work. Claiming that her wife had told him that she had a miscarriage, he saw a baby gasping for air in their bathtub. Lane and her husband quickly grabbed the baby and rushed to the nearest hospital.
The baby did not make it.
Wilkins managed to escape from Lane’s basement. Calling 911, she was safely rescued from the vile house.
Dynel Lane, accused of cutting a stranger’s unborn baby from her womb, appears at her trial Wednesday in Boulder. (Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP)
Dynel Lane had been sentenced to spend 100 years in jail.
Beware your neighbor.
Savanna Greywind was missing. This was a distressing time for her family and friends, considering that Greywind was eight months pregnant.
They then found her body in a nearby river. Her corpse was wrapped in plastic. Her womb was ripped apart, the baby gone.
Who knew that Greywind’s neighbor would kill her?
Investigators, who pieced together clues, arrested Brooke Crews and William Hoehn for the murder.
Things weren’t the way it was supposed to be when Crews asked Greywind to come up to her apartment. Apparently, Crews needed Greywind’s assistance on a sewing job.
The pregnant woman was in for a surprise, however, upon entering Crews’ apartment. Greywind was suddenly accused by Crews of mistreating cats in their area. Sensing discomfort, Greywind attempted to get out of the apartment.
Crews pushed Greywind. Hitting her head hard on the floor, the expectant mother fell into unconsciousness.
Crews then grabbed a carpenter knife. Cutting Greywind open, Crews managed to get the baby girl out. According to investigators, Greywind would drift back in and out of consciousness during the terrifying ordeal.
Greywind died because of massive blood loss.
Crews claimed she did the grisly act because her boyfriend, Hoehn, pressured her to have a baby. To start a family. Crews was sentenced to life imprisonment. Initially placed on trial for conspiring in the murder, Hoehn was also charged with a life sentence soon after.
The baby, Halsey Jo, survived.
Perhaps another silver lining to this tragedy would be the Savanna Act. Recently moved to the House of Representatives for approval, this Act will serve as basis for enforcement agencies to step up their game when it comes to missing American Indians (Greywind herself was part of this community).
Now, let us put the spotlight on the latest fetal abduction to be documented.
It was on Facebook that 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa Lopez saw a picture of a baby crib. Apparently, someone’s giving it away for free.
“Where is the May mama’s at.”, so went the post on the “Help A Sister Out” FB page.
Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree, posted the said message and picture. Piotr Bobak, the elder Figueroa’s boyfriend, knew what was going on – Clarisa was plotting to kill an expectant mother to get a child.
And on April Fool’s Day, Ochoa-Lopez visited the Figueroa home. Desiree’s boyfriend was also present during the visit. The boyfriend claimed that the Clarisa and Desiree were acting bizarrely with the pregnant teen around.
Knowing that something was up, the boyfriend told Desiree that he would call the authorities if something happened to Marlen. Desiree simply retorted back that the murder plot was simply an April Fool’s joke.
A few weeks later, Marlen went back to the house. As Desiree was showing the young pregnant woman some pictures from an album, Clarisa quickly wrapped a cable around Marlen’s neck.
Marlen struggled. She even managed to let some fingers between the cord and her neck to breathe. This was when the deranged Clarisa told her own daughter to help her kill the teen.
Together, they strangled Ochoa-Lopez. They then removed the baby.
With the baby out, the Figueroa duo dialed 911. They claimed that Clarisa gave birth.
Medics came to get the baby and Clarisa. Marlen was nowhere to be found.
Several weeks later, investigators discovered Marlen’s body hidden right in the Figueroa backyard.
Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa were charged with murder. Piotr Bobak was also sentenced, for concealing the crime.
Photo credit: Chicago Tonight – WTTW
Although born with no brain activity, the baby ripped from Marlen’s womb recently opened his eyes.
Similar to the Savana Greywind case, a call to action was created by the Hispanic (primarily, undocumented individuals) community in Chicago. Claiming that local enforcement didn’t meet any expectations to crack the case, a move to improve resources and aid is currently being pushed.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Gripping and vile, fetal abductions may just be one of the most devious acts in the contemporary crime scene. Stay safe, everyone.