A Texas woman faces pending murder charges this week after she allegedly faked a pregnancy, killed a Kansas woman and then kidnapped the woman’s newborn baby girl, CBS News reports.
Authorities said Yesenia Sesmas, 34, of Dallas, Texas is being held in a Dallas jail and likely will be extradited to Kansas where the incident occurred. Pending charges against her include first-degree murder and kidnapping.
According to CBS, the mother, Laura Abarca-Nogueda, 27, of Wichita, Kansas, was found dead in her home on Thursday, and her six-day-old daughter, Sophia, was missing. Several days later, police discovered the baby in Sesmas’ Dallas, Texas home, unharmed, according to the report.
Wichita police said Abarca-Nogueda and Sesmas had known each other for a long time, and Sesmas lived in Kansas before moving to Texas.
Here’s more from the Dallas News:
In a jailhouse interview with Univision 23, Sesmas admitted to shooting Abarca-Nogueda but said she did not mean to, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported.
Sesmas told Univision that Abarca-Nogueda had agreed to give up her daughter, but changed her mind last week after Sesmas arrived in Wichita.
[Wichita police Lt. Todd] Ojile said that the crime was likely premeditated, WFAA reported.
“Detectives learned that Sesmas had faked a pregnancy over the last several months,” Ojile said Monday. He did not elaborate on how Sesmas knew Abarca-Nogueda.
Abarca-Nogueda’s brother Jose Abarca told reporters that the family prayed for the baby’s safe return, and God answered them. He said baby Sophia is back at home with their family.
“We were saying, ‘Please, God, help us find Sophia alive,’ And I think God heard us,” Abarca said.
“Laura was a loving mother, she was an amazing person,” he continued. “I know she was only a mother for six days, but pretty sure those were the best moments for her.”
Sesmas has a history of bizarre behavior. According to the Wichita Eagle, Sesmas also was arrested in July on several counts of kidnapping and battery involving another pregnant woman and her children. It is unclear whether Sesmas was charged or convicted in the matter.
Adriana Portillo, one of the alleged victims in the July incident, said Sesmas had told her that she wanted a baby girl but could not get pregnant.
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Portillo told the newspaper:
It was July 25. Portillo had been friends with Sesmas for years but knew her by the name of Patricia Hernandez. Sesmas had invited Portillo and her 10- and 3-year-old daughters to the basement of a home Sesmas rented on South Elizabeth. Portillo was eight months’ pregnant. Sesmas was moving to Dallas and offered Portillo clothing and a TV she wasn’t taking with her.
Things got strange, then violent, Portillo said.
Sesmas, who had brought duct tape and a knife with her, took Portillo’s cellphone and said, “What I’m telling you, I’m not playing. I’m not kidding around. You got to do it.
“You got to put duct tape on your girls.”
Portillo said she fought Sesmas while one of her daughters found her cell phone and called the police. The woman said she and her daughters managed to escape, but she said Sesmas also tried to choke her 10-year-old daughter before they got away.
Portillo told the news station that after reading about the recent incident, she wonders whether Sesmas had wanted to take her unborn baby during the July incident.
“Also known as cesarean kidnapping, it occurs when a woman desires a child so badly she is prepared to attack a mother-to-be and cut the baby from her womb, then try to pass it off as her own,” according to a report in The Guardian about the crime.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported 18 cases of fetal abduction since 1983 in the U.S., but 14 have occurred in the past decade, according to The Guardian. Four additional attempts were foiled, the report states.
“This is the most extreme end of the crime of infant abduction, where more usually a woman tries to steal a newborn baby from a hospital or from the new mother in her home or out in public,” said Cathy Nahirny, senior analyst on infant abduction for the Washington-based group. “Occasionally, she will resort to this gruesome and horrific act of violence.”