Page last updated at 22:12 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

US woman charged with murder of pregnant mother

Family photo via Boston Herald
Mother-of-four Darlene Haynes was friends with Ms Corey

A US woman has been charged with the murder of a pregnant mother whose baby was cut from her womb.

At a court in Massachusetts, Julie Corey, 35, was accused of killing her pregnant friend, cutting the baby from the womb and kidnapping it.

Darlene Haynes, who was eight months pregnant, was found dead with incisions to her abdomen in her house in July.

A search for the missing child led police to Ms Corey, who had a baby with her which DNA revealed was Haynes'.

Initially, police charged Ms Corey with kidnapping after finding her in possession of the baby girl at a homeless shelter in New Hampshire.

1987: Darci Pierce, 19, abducted and killed Cindy Ray in New Mexico and cut out her baby.
1995: Debbie Evans was murdered in Illinois, along with two of her children. A baby son survived, as did the foetus.
1996: 17-year-old Carethia Curry was murdered by a friend, Felicia Scott, 37, who stole her foetus.
2000: Michelle Bica invited a pregnant friend to her home in Ohio, shot her dead and cut out her baby.
2004: Lisa Montgomery killed Bobbi Jo Stinnett and cut out her baby girl, who survived
2007: Pregnant 18-year-old Amanda Howard was abducted in Missouri but freed unharmed. Lauren Gash jailed for kidnap.
2009: Eight-months pregnant Darlene Haynes found dead and the baby removed. The baby was found alive two days later.

The girl was reported to be in fairly good health and has since been in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Staff at the shelter had notified police after they became suspicious of Ms Corey, who had told them she was the mother of the baby.

Ms Haynes' body had been found days earlier when her landlord noticed a "horrifying smell".

The medical examiner ruled the cause of Ms Haynes' death to be "blunt force trauma, asphyxia by ligature strangulation and incision to the abdomen".

Ms Haynes was friends with Ms Corey, who had told her family and boyfriend she was pregnant.

Ms Corey's lawyers said their client denied any role in the murder. She is being held without bail.

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