by Steven Ertelt
August 22, 2005
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) — A Pennsylvania man will be charged with killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child after police found the remains of LaToyia Figueroa, a 24 year-old woman who was last seen alive in July. Relatives and friends had covered the city in fliers trying to find the young woman and a reward of $100,000 was offered for any information leading to her.
Authorities ended their month-long search when they found the dead woman in Chester, Pennsylvania, about 13 miles away from Philadelphia. They also arrested Stephen Poaches, the father of the baby and District Attorney Lynne Abraham said he would be charged with double counts of homicide in both deaths.
Police do not yet have a motive for why Poaches killed his girlfriend and her baby but members of her family told the Associated Press they were happy Figueroa had been found.
"Now she can rest in peace," her father, Melvin Figueroa, said. "All I want is justice with that peace."
"Why he did it, I will never understand why, because she never did harm to him," he said, after a memorial service for Figueroa.
"I had a bad feeling about him from the beginning," Melvin said of his daughter’s boyfriend. Poaches was supposed to have dinner with him and his wife one evening and left without an explanation. He never saw Poaches again.
Friends say Poaches may have killed Figueroa because he had also gotten another woman pregnant.
Figueroa was last seen July 18 when Poaches accompanied her to a prenatal checkup.
Poaches’ lawyer, Michael Coard, told reporters that he has submitted voluntarily to authorities’ request to search his home and vehicle for evidence.
Police found him trying to move Figueroa’s body at the time. He was found trying to dump Figueroa’s body over a fence and into a wooded, weed-infested lot where few people venture.
Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said Poaches’ attorney was trying to try the case in public but said a trial would prove Poaches murdered his wife and unborn child.
"He has an attorney who has basically tried this case in the news media and has depicted him to be innocent. We are saying today that he is not innocent, and we are going to convict him," Johnson told AP.
Figueroa also has a seven year old girl. She was five-months pregnant at the time of her death.