A Tennessee woman and her infant son were found stabbed to death in their home over the weekend after she allegedly was pressured by the baby’s father to have an abortion.
Fox 2 Now reports police arrested Enoch Zarceno, 25, of Shelby County, Tennessee, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder and other felonies.
Allegedly, Zarceno had been arguing with Heather Cook, 32, of Bennington Circle, about paying child support for their 4-month-old son Bentley.
On Friday morning, Shelby County firefighters found Cook’s and Bentley’s bodies in their apartment while responding to a fire at their address, according to the report.
Local authorities said Cook and her baby died after being stabbed multiple times. A local fire marshal also said the fire was intentionally set in their home.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office believes Zarceno may have started the fire intentionally to cover up the alleged murders, the local news reports. He also is facing arson charges.
Family members told authorities that Cook and Zarceno were arguing about child support and custody. Before their son was born, Zarceno allegedly urged Cook to abort their son before he was born.
Here’s more from the report:
Just two weeks ago, Cook posted to a private Facebook group for single moms, asking for advice. She said she and Zarceno had just begun seeing each other when she got pregnant; he was in a six-year relationship with someone else at the time.
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She wrote Zarceno asked her to “remedy the situation,” offering to pay for an abortion, and that she hadn’t heard from him until she filed for child support last month.
Legally, men do not have any say in the life of their unborn child. Fathers cannot stop mothers from aborting their unborn babies, but they also cannot force them into an abortion.
However, forced and coerced abortions still occur through pressure, threats and intimidation. LifeNews has reported countless crime stories involving pregnant women who allegedly were threatened, assaulted or killed after they refused to abort their unborn babies.
The March of Dimes reports one in six abused women reports the first abuse occurred while she was pregnant.
Several studies also have linked domestic violence to abortion. In these cases, some women were forced or pressured by partners into having abortions, while others believed having an abortion would help them escape abuse. A 2011 study in “Obstetrician and Gynaecologist” found that almost 40 percent of the women seeking abortions had a history of physical abuse and relationship issues.