World

Baby stolen from womb named Victoria Jo

Unborn child cut from her mother's womb Thursday in Missouri has been reunited with her father and is listed in good condition in hospital.

The unborn child cut from her mother's womb Thursday has been reunited with her father and is listed in good condition in hospital.

The baby girl, named Victoria Jo by her father, Zeb Stinnett, remained in a neo-natal intensive care unit Saturday, a day after she was found in the possession of Lisa Montgomery, 36, of Kansas.

Montgomery was arrested Friday night and charged with the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, and kidnapping.

When Stinnett was found by her mother in her Missouri home Thursday, the pregnant woman had been strangled, her womb sliced open, and the umbilical cord had been cut.

Stinnett was lying in a pool of blood, with blond hair clenched in both of her hands. She died in hospital.

A nationwide Amber Alert is credited with helping find the prematurely born baby, say police officials. Tips lead investigators to Montgomery's house, where they found a newborn baby girl suffering from various traumas.

Montgomery told officials that the baby was hers, but later confessed to the crime when asked about the whereabouts of birth records.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Montgomery told her husband she was going shopping in Topeka on Thursday. That night she called, saying she had gone into labour and had delivered a baby girl.

Residents of Melvern, Kan. report that Montgomery and her husband were out Friday, showing off the newborn baby at a local cafe and later paid a visit to their pastor.

U.S. media have reported that Montgomery had suffered a miscarriage, but it's not known when she lost the baby or who was aware of the loss. Montgomery has two teenage children.

Based on e-mail exchanges between the two women, police believe Montgomery went to Stinnett's house under the pretense of wanting to buy a dog from the pregnant woman, who bred and sold rat-terrier dogs.

The motive behind the crime is not known.

Montgomery is expected to make a court appearance on Monday in either Kansas or Missouri, say officials.