Two pregnant women have been killed and had their fetuses extracted by their murderers in the space of just over a week, authorities in two states have reported.
On March 27, a 20-year-old Tamaulipas woman who was eight months pregnant went missing in Tampico.
Four days later, the body of Jessica Gabriela “N” was found in the alleged perpetrators’ home in the port city.
Her unborn baby had been removed from her womb and had died during or shortly after the bizarre attack.
State police arrested Cynthia Fátima “N” and her husband Omar Enrique “N” in connection with the crime, although the former testified that she had acted alone.
At a court hearing Tuesday, a state prosecutor presented a chilling account detailing how the crime was allegedly committed.
Forensic evidence suggested that Cynthia “N” used a kitchen knife to extract the fetus from the victim’s uterus while she was still conscious or semi-conscious, the prosecutor said.
The presiding judge ruled that the couple must remain in preventative custody for four months while investigators continue work to determine the full circumstances of the crime.
According to some media reports, Cynthia “N” tricked her husband as well as other family members and friends into believing that she was pregnant.
The ruse included posting photos to her Facebook account in which she posed happily with her husband in maternity wear and appeared to be expecting a child.
It was on the same social media platform that Cynthia “N” allegedly contacted Jessica “N” and lured the pregnant woman to her home by making an offer of free baby clothes.
Under that pretext, the victim arrived at an address in the Nuevo Progreso neighborhood of Tampico at approximately 10:00am on Tuesday of last week.
As soon as Jessica “N” entered the accused couple’s home, the prosecutor alleged, she was asphyxiated before her unborn baby was brutally extracted.
Cynthia “N” subsequently presented herself at the city’s Carlos Canseco Hospital where she claimed she had suffered a miscarriage.
But medical staff didn’t believe her and alerted authorities about their suspicions, although she wasn’t prevented from leaving the hospital.
Before she was arrested, Cynthia “N” even buried the fetus in a local cemetery as part of a continuation of her elaborate attempt at deception.
On March 29, the woman updated her Facebook profile and informed her friends that she had lost her baby girl. She also posted a photo of a baby’s feet with an accompanying caption that read:
“There is happiness in heaven because another angel arrived. But I miss you because you left a great void in my life.”
Shortly after she changed her profile photo again to an image of a newborn baby lying face down with the caption: “I never imagined I’d be so close to an angel until I saw my baby born in heaven.”
On Saturday, investigators discovered the mother’s corpse in a plastic bag beneath a bed in the couple’s home and an autopsy determined that she bled to death from a stab wound to her abdomen.
Yesterday, security authorities in Veracruz reported an eerily similar case in the municipality of Alvarado.
In a prepared statement, the Veracruz Coordination Group said that a 23-year-old woman identified as Jenny Judith Seba Velasco was murdered by another woman who violently extracted her unborn baby.
However, in contrast to the Tamaulipas case, the baby survived and was later found by authorities in the home of the alleged perpetrator. The infant is now under the protection of state authorities and is reportedly in healthy condition.
The suspect has been identified as Brianda Padrón Cano and is being sought for kidnapping and murder.
The Secretariat of Public Security is offering a reward of up to 1 million pesos (US $55,250) for information leading to her capture.
Again, media reports indicate that the victim was lured to the home of her murderer under the pretext of a gift of baby clothes.
A report in the newspaper Excélsior said the deceased woman got into a taxi with her victim after she was approached while waiting for a bus near a health clinic where she had had an appointment. Seba Velasco’s body was found on a ranch five kilometers from where she boarded the taxi.
The body of yet another pregnant woman was located Sunday on a ranch in the Tabasco municipality of Nacajuca. Alba Lizbeth, 24, was eight months pregnant and found naked with several stab wounds to her body.
According to authorities, the case is being investigated as a femicide and there is no suggestion that the crime’s objective was to extract the victim’s unborn child.