by Steven Ertelt
December 30, 2007
Appleton, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin officials are still unable to locate a man of Indian decent who is accused of spiking his girlfriend’s drink with the abortion drug mifepristone in an attempt to kill her unborn child. Manishkumar Patel, did not check into a day center for those on bond and his attorney hasn’t seen him since the middle of December.
Patel was supposed to check in as a requirement of his $750,000 bond he paid with the help of friends and family.
Since he didn’t show up for the latest check-in Outagamie County Court Commissioner Maureen Budiac issued an arrest warrant with the additional charge of bail jumping that carries a new $1 million bail price.
On Monday, Thomas Zoesch, Patel’s lead attorney, told Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers that he hasn’t heard from his client since December 19 and that Patel’s business attorney hasn’t either.
Zoesch believes Patel may have skipped town or fled the country.
“I did not learn that he was gone until I got a call from the sheriff’s department on Friday," Zoesch said. “And I talked to his corporate lawyer and he said he has not had any contact with him either."
Former state Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, who represents Darshana Patel, the victim who shares the same last name but is not married to Manishkumar, said she doesn’t know his whereabouts either.
Zoesch told Gannett that Patel’s location may be confirmed if his estranged wife is missing as well, and he thinks the two may have fled.
Because Patel was only required to check into the facility on a weekly basis, he could have left the area or the country a week ago, making it more difficult for authorities to track his whereabouts.
Patel gave authorities his passport as a condition of the bond but that doesn’t mean someone hasn’t tried to smuggle him out of the country and back to his native India.
Outagamie County Sheriff Brad Gehring blames the day center for giving Patel a week off from checking in because of the Christmas holiday.
Darshana Patel says her boyfriend hurt her to the extent that she jumped from a moving vehicle once to escape him. She had obtained a restraining order against Manishkumar last month and now he has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide for trying to cause Darshana to abort her twin babies.
According to court records the Associated Press obtained, Darshana said Manishkumar abused her physically and emotionally on repeated occasions but she stayed with him even though his divorce with another woman was not finalized.
Darshana became suspicious after she had two miscarriages in one year and noticed white powder on the cup of a drink Manishkumar prepared.
Police labs later confirmed the powder was the dangerous abortion drug Manishkumar purchased in India.
Darshana Patel’s concern for her baby led her to obtain the restraining order after he hit her once and blackened her eye and cut her lip. According to the AP report, she was "afraid (for) my safety and my unborn child’s safety."
Darshana says she believes Manishkumar had given her mifepristone, or the RU 486 abortion drug, which has been responsible for the deaths of thirteen women worldwide (and six in the United States) and injuring more than 1,100 women in the U.S. alone.
Manishkumar, after two different interrogations by police, eventually admitted giving Darshana the abortion drug.
Meanwhile, Lautenschlager said she is representing Darshana and has indicated she is considering filing a civil lawsuit against Patel in addition to the criminal charges he already faces.
He could face 99 1/2 years in prison on the charges.
Pro-life groups are saddened by the case but encouraged that an unborn victims law they pressed for is being used to hold Patel accountable for possibly trying to kill the woman’s two unborn children.
"Without Wisconsin’s Fetal Homicide Law, there would be no basis on which to charge Patel in the death of the child," Susan Armacost, the legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
"As horrible as this situation is for the child’s mother, she can at least be comforted by the fact that her child is recognized as a victim under the Fetal Homicide Law and that the death of her child is a crime in Wisconsin," Armacost added.
Wisconsin’s Fetal Homicide Law was enacted in 1998.
The law recognizes unborn children as separate victims when they are killed or injured as the result of violence directed toward the unborn child’s mother or the unborn child by a third party. The law applies regardless of the gestational age of the unborn child.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, 35 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances.
Some 25 of those laws protect pregnant women and their unborn children throughout pregnancy and another 10 offer justice only after viability.