After an examination of the 7-month-old unborn baby who was cut out of a Colorado woman’s womb this week, county officials say they are not yet able to officially determine the cause and manner of death. Determining exactly how and when the baby died is crucial to determining if the alleged assailant in the case will be charged with murder.
On Wednesday, Dynel Catrece Lane (pictured above) was arrested after she attacked a pregnant woman and cut her 7-month-old unborn baby from her womb. In this unbelievable act of violence, the baby died but the victim, Michelle Wilkins, is expected to survive. A 911 recording shows the baby breathed a heavy last gasp before she died.
Michelle Wilkins (below), the pregnant Colorado woman who was attacked by a woman who claimed to be selling baby clothes and Craigslist and who cut her 7-month-old unborn baby out of her stomach at her home, is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.
The Boulder County coroner said more investigation is needed before a ruling is made on the cause and manner of death of a baby cut from her mother’s womb by a knife-wielding Longmont woman.
Deputy Coroner Derek Rinaldi said an autopsy was completed Friday but a ruling on how the baby girl died is pending further investigation. This can include microscopic analysis of tissue along with blood and toxicology testing.
Rinaldi had no estimate of when the investigation would be complete.
The 26-year-old victim was identified by her family as Michelle Wilkins. Her uncle told 7NEWS on Friday that she is improving but remains in the ICU.
“Michelle is a little surprised and taken aback at outpouring of love happening all over the world,” said Chris Wilkins, Michelle’s uncle.
She is recovering at the hospital. Police say she is alert, answering questions and is with her family.
Unfortunately, prosecutors will not be able to bring charges for the unborn child’s death because Colorado state law does not regard unborn children as human beings who deserve justice when they are killed. In 2013, Colorado Democrats killed a bill that would add the state to the list of more than 25 states that provide justice and protection for pregnant women and unborn children.
Sarah Zagorski, the Executive Director of Colorado Citizens for Life said, “This horrific case highlights the need for an Unborn Victims of Violence law in Colorado, which would recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide. This woman’s baby was viable and suffered a cruel and violent death. Colorado should have laws punishing perpetrators of these innocent, defenseless victims.”
Wilkins (shown in image at top) was beaten and stabbed before Lane cut her unborn baby from her abdomen. Left alone in the basement of the home, she was eventually able to call police, was rescued and rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery. An autopsy on the baby is scheduled to be completed Friday. The woman accused of committing the violent attack, 34-year-old Dynel Lane, later allegedly brought the deceased child to the hospital and claimed she’d had a miscarriage. She was arrested and booked into the Boulder County Jail.
During a brief court appearance Thursday, Lane was kept behind glass in court and her bail was set at $2 million. Official charges are planned for next Wednesday.
Wilkins, 26, was taken to Longmont United Hospital where she underwent surgery and is expected to recover.
Local news reports indicate her family released the following statement:
“Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of sympathy and support. Longmont first responders and the United Hospital staff saved our daughter’s life for which we will always be grateful. We grieve for the many victims of this senseless attack, but mostly for a precious child whose life was ended before she had a chance to live. Finally, we hope to have additional information tomorrow for those who have generously offered to support Michelle’s recovery.”
After the horrific attack, the mayor of Longmont, Colorado, is asking the community to pray.
“Now is the time to come together, to say a prayer, to light a candle, to connect with others who are experiencing the pain of loss, or to do what you might do to bring healing to our community,” Mike Butler said in a statement posted on the city of Longmont’s website.
When police arrived at the scene of the attack, what they found was brutal.
When police arrived at the home, they found Wilkins lying on a bed inside a basement bedroom, covered in blood. She was fading in and out of consciousness and could barely speak, according to Lane’s arrest affidavit. A small knife with a 3-inch blade was found on the floor next to the bed.
Officers found her cell phone, which showed a text from Lane, giving the victim the address of 1620 Green Place. The victim then sent a text at 11:51 a.m. saying that she had arrived at the home.
Officers followed a trail of blood from the bedroom to a utility room, where they found bloody towels being washed in the washing machine.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett talked about what kind of charges may be brought.
“The issue of whether or not murder charges are appropriate involving a case involving the death of a fetus or late-term pregnancy is always a difficult issue,” Garnett said. “Under Colorado law, there’s no way murder charges can be brought if it is not established that the fetus lived as a child outside the body of the mother for some period of time. I don’t know the answer yet as to whether that could be established – what our facts are here. One of the issues that we will need to evaluate in connection with that is the medical information from the autopsy.”
As LifeNews previously reported, many states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances. Colorado Rep. Janak Joshi supported the 2013 bill and hoped the committee would approve it.
He said, “…Colorado law has a glaring loophole that fails to protect unborn children who are harmed or killed during the commission of a crime. In the past, pro-abortion legislators have tried to dismiss this type of bill as unnecessary. Even though this bill is not about abortion, the radical pro-abortion lobby is pulling out all the stops to defeat this bill. In fact, Planned Parenthood has publicly admitted that they refuse to give even an inch when it comes to protecting pre-born babies.”