Julie Corey, of Massachusetts. killed 23-year-old Darlene Haynes, who was in the eighth month of her pregnancy, and stole her baby. Now she faces trial.
In 2009, Haynes’ body was found when her landlord responded to complaints from neighbors. He found her body wrapped in a blanket and shoved in a closet of her apartment. Worcester Police Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst told reporters that the baby girl appeared to be in “fairly good health” upon discovery.
Afterwards, they arrested Corey and a male companion in Plymouth, New Hampshire where police found them with the child. The man was released while Corey was charged as a fugitive from justice. Now, she faces trial, according to an AP report:
Opening statements are getting underway in the trial of a Massachusetts woman charged with beating and strangling her pregnant friend, then cutting the fetus from her womb.
Prosecutors say Corey killed Darlene Haynes, who was eight months pregnant, made an incision in Haynes’ abdomen and took her fetus in July 2009. The baby girl survived, and Corey told her boyfriend that the child was theirs.
Corey has pleaded not guilty. Her lawyers have said she didn’t kill Haynes and came into possession of the baby “by lawful means,” although they did not elaborate.
The now 4-year-old child lives with her biological father.
Corey apparently told friends that she had a baby at an unnamed hospital and, after killing Haynes, was showing off the baby as her own.
“Some friends became a little concerned about how she got home so early after just giving birth,” a police official said.
Police said Corey had told acquaintances that she was relocating to New Hampshire and she arrived at a homeless shelter. She told workers at the shelter that she was the baby’s mom, although she was unable to produce any information on the identity of the child.
Corey was arrested when workers took pictures of the baby with their cell phone and notified authorities.
Karl Whitney, Haynes’ uncle, told the Boston Globe after the killing that he was relieved the baby had been found.
“It’s just a miracle that everything worked out as well as it did,” he said. “Right now, it’s the best ending to a very sad and tragic situation.”
“I’m very amazed and happy that the Worcester Police Department were able to react so quickly,” Whitney said.
Roberto C. Rodriguez, the ex-boyfriend of the slain woman and the father of the unborn child, told news agencies at the time before the baby was found that he was devastated by the news and hoped authorities apprehend the assailant quickly and that the baby is found safely.
“Turn yourself in or keep running,” he said. “The Lord is going to catch up to you. Drop the kid off. Drop the kid off at a hospital.”
At the time of the murder, Haynes had three other children, but only her 18-month-old daughter lived with her.
Haynes’ body was found in the closet inside her home in Worcester and her body had decayed to such an extent that investigators had problems identifying even her gender. When they did, they determined Haynes was pregnant and had been murdered and had her uterus cut open, her baby girl stolen.
Haynes’ aunt, Sandra Grandmaison, described her niece as a loving woman who was slow to develop intellectually and never graduated high school. Haynes, she said, already had a name picked out for the baby, but wouldn’t share it, wanting to surprise her family.