Woman allegedly faked pregnancy, kidnapped baby after murdering mother
DALLAS, Texas - The missing newborn that was found over the weekend in Dallas was taken by a woman who had faked her own pregnancy, police said.
Wichita police said authorities found baby Sophia Gonzales Saturday after getting a tip that she might be in a Dallas home. The 6-day-old baby girl was evaluated at a local hospital and released into protective care.
The baby's mother, 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda, was shot to death in her west Wichita apartment Thursday afternoon.
The FBI had joined the search for the baby, and investigators worked around the clock to locate her. Late Friday, they got a tip that someone who knew the mother had fled with her to a home in Oak Cliff.
Dallas police "dropped everything" to assist in the case once investigators learned Sophia was there, Wichita police said.
"This is the best possible outcome to a very sad case," Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said at a news conference.
Investigators have since identified the suspect as 34-year-old Yesenia Sesmas. They believe she faked a pregnancy and returned to Dallas with the baby to pass her off as her own.
Neighbor Dell Johnson was jolted to her feet by swarming police and federal agents and a loud noise that sounded to her like an explosion.
"After the explosion, I heard a woman say, 'You better not come back here,'" she recalled. "They tried to get in that gate. Knocked my fence down to get up in the yard and on the porch."
Police said Sesmas was inside with her boyfriend, son and niece. Baby Sofia was also inside and unharmed.
"My son saw the police carrying the baby out to the car," Johnson said. "We never seen a baby."
At this point, police do not believe the others in the house knew of the crimes. They're still investigating how Sesmas and the young mother she killed knew each other.
Sesmas was booked into the Dallas County jail on outstanding warrants. She is expected to be charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.
Baby Sophia has already been reunited with family members in Wichita.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.