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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 02:07 GMT
Woman charged over 'womb theft'
Lisa Montgomery
Lisa Montgomery is said to have confessed to the killing
A US woman has appeared in court accused of strangling to death a heavily pregnant 23-year-old and cutting the baby from her womb.

Lisa Montgomery, from Melvern in Kansas, was charged with kidnapping resulting in murder, with a further hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Mrs Montgomery, 36, is then likely to be transferred to a court in the state of Missouri, where the crime occurred.

Bobbi Jo Stinnett was found strangled in her Missouri home on Thursday.

Her baby was found safe and well in a house in Kansas.

False pregnancy

According to a court affidavit, Mrs Montgomery has confessed to strangling the woman, cutting the baby from her womb and telling others that it was her child.

She is being held in federal custody without bail and faces possible sentences of life imprisonment or execution if convicted.

Mrs Stinnett's mother found her daughter at her home in the Missouri town of Skidmore on Thursday. She was pronounced dead at hospital.

The baby, named Victoria Jo, was traced using information obtained from e-mails on Mrs Stinnett's computer and is now recovering at a Kansas hospital.

Funeral service

Mrs Montgomery, a mother of two, told her husband Kevin that she had gone into labour while out shopping.

Investigators said she had lied to family and friends about being pregnant with twins and suffering a miscarriage with one of the babies.

Mr Montgomery has said he knew nothing about his wife's alleged actions.

Speaking outside the court, he said: "My family has suffered a tragedy but I am not the only family. This has to be as hard or harder on them as it is on me."

A funeral service for Mrs Stinnett will take place on Tuesday.





SEE ALSO:
Baby cut from womb 'found alive'
18 Dec 04 |  Americas
Country profile: United States of America
03 Nov 04 |  Country profiles



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