It was June, 2009 and Korena Roberts had let everyone know that she was expecting a baby. Excitedly, she had set about sewing clothes. She had bought formula, a stroller, and parenting magazines. As the big day was drawing near, she invited Heather Snively, an eight months pregnant woman that she had befriended on Craigslist, over to her house to “exchange baby clothes.”
What Snively did not know was that Roberts was not pregnant. Since delivering a stillborn child in 2007, she had become “obsessed with babies, repeatedly watching videos of births on YouTube,” and generally making herself crazy with what she could not have. She had been staging her pregnancy, and Snively was there because it was time to stage a delivery.
The paramedics who arrived at the scene were soon able to determine that Roberts had not given birth. For murdering Snively, extracting her unborn baby and claiming it as her own, she has just been sentenced to life in prison. What may surprise you is that this is not the first time this has happened. Since 1987, at least thirteen cases of “fetus abduction” have been identified. A study in the 2002 Journal of Forensic Science concluded that “Caesarean section murder suggests a new category of personal cause homocide,” and states that:
In most cases of fetus abduction, the abductor befriends the pregnant victim, all the while planning to kill her and extract the baby by Caesarean section, obviously risking the baby’s health and life. Unlike infant abductions, the fetus abductor is so determined to give birth to a child that she actually acts out the fantasy of delivering the baby herself, rather than kidnapping one already born.
For more, read Diane Taylor’s September 2009 piece, “The Women Who Kill to Get Babies,” at The Guardian.