Missouri police seek fetus taken from slain mom
SKIDMORE, Mo. -- An eight-months-pregnant woman was slain in her home, and her fetus was then cut from her womb, authorities said. Believing the infant survived, they issued an Amber Alert early today.
Bobbi Jo Stinnett's mother found her body Thursday afternoon. The 23-year-old woman had apparently been strangled. Early Friday, authorities issued an alert and said the missing child is believed to be a girl.
"The doctors who examined Bobbi Jo gave us information indicating we probably would have a live child if we could find it," Nodaway County Sheriff Bill Espey said today. "The child would be in danger because of being one month premature."
"Someone was wanting a baby awful bad," he had said earlier.
There were no visible signs of struggle and no indication of forced entry into Stinnett's home in this small community of 500 in the northwest corner of Missouri, the sheriff said.
"We know she was alive in the afternoon, within an hour of being found," Espey said.
Authorities said they were looking for a person who may have blond hair and possibly was driving a red vehicle.
Stinnett worked at a motor factory in nearby Maryville; she was expecting her first child.
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."
Police Find Baby; Could Be From Slain Mom
December 17, 2004 4:22 PM EST
SKIDMORE, Mo. - Authorities have found a healthy newborn girl in Kansas and think it could be the child of slain Bobbi Jo Stinnett.
Nodaway County Sheriff Ben Espey said authorities are awaiting DNA testing to confirm the girl is the child of Stinnett, who was found slain in her northwest Missouri home Thursday afternoon by her own mother.
"It's about as good as we can get, people," Espey said.
Dec. 19, 2004, 1:11AM
Town's joy turns to shock
Suspect had showed off the newborn and even described delivery before her arrest
Kansas City Star
Lisa M. Montgomery of Melvern, Kan., pictured in an undated photo, was arrested Friday after a woman was stabbed to death and her 8-month-old fetus cut out of her womb.
MELVERN, KAN. - Dressed in pink and nestled in a baby carrier, the infant was paraded around town Friday, just as any newborn might be.
Kevin and Lisa Montgomery dropped by the Whistle Stop Cafe on Main Street to give patrons a look, then there was a visit to the home of the Rev. Mike Wheatly, pastor of the First Church of God.
"I held her in my arms for 15 minutes," Wheatly recalled.
"Lisa talked about the delivery, about how her water broke," he said. "Kevin had his proud papa face on."
Just a few hours later, the joy the town shared with the Montgomerys transformed to shock and bewilderment after law enforcement officers swooped down on the family's home near Melvern and arrested Lisa Montgomery.
She is charged with kidnapping that resulted in death, accused of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a Skidmore, Mo., woman who was eight months pregnant, and cutting the child from the victim's womb. Montgomery's husband has not been charged.
Stinnett's baby, named Victoria Jo, was in good condition Saturday in the neonatal intensive care unit of Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka.
In a news release, Zeb Stinnett called his daughter "a miracle" and thanked family, friends and law enforcement officials for their support.
What offenses did the defendant commit?
The crime is so heinous, I'm not sure there is anything sufficient in our penal code. It concerns me she will escape justice like Yates, Laney, and Diaz. She must be sick to commit such a bizarre, evil act.
I'm interested in learning more about "Dad's" complicity... Dad being the husband of the woman who was arrested. Come on, how can you NOT KNOW?
Although I think John Stride is absolutely right, here's my off the top of the head list.
Capital Murder (killing while kidnapping) or (robbery-homicide, see below)
Harm to a Corpse (Chopping her up after she's dead and taking the baby out. - Although there may be an interesting defense of others here: The baby would die without being removed.)
Endangering a child (Harm brought to the unborn prior to the removal from the womb)
Aggravated Robbery (Stealing the fetus from the womb is a taking of property if the State doesn't recognize the unborn as a person.)
Since this isn't a Texas case, I can actually contribute on this one.
Just a few thoughts from quickly glancing through the Missouri Statutes:
Murder. See Mo. Rev. Stat. 565.020 (1983) (Missouri's 1st murder statute automatically fixes punishment at death or life without parole; there is no separate factors scheme similar to Texas).
First degree assault. See Mo. Rev. Stat. 565.050 (1984).
Kidnapping. See Mo. Rev. Stat. 565.110.1(2) (hostage); and see, State v. Lyles, 695 S.W.2d 945 (Mo. 1985) (evidence supported defendant's kidnapping conviction under "hostage" even though only kept her 11 hours and victim was not kept for purpose of effecting monetary gain).
Interference with Custodial Rights. See Mo. Rev. Stat. 565.150.2 (1984) (because defendant moved hostage across state lines, it's a felony).
The end must be near.
No law devised by mortal man which could be imagined to deal with the seemingly ever-worsening variety of horrible human behavior could ever contemplate crimes such as this.
Hopefully the Capital/murder-kidnapping would be applicable in Missouri.
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