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Suspect sought pregnant woman for baby

Associated Press / October 12, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - Desperate to give her boyfriend a son but unable to conceive, Annette Morales-Rodriguez faked a pregnancy for months, court documents say, then began trolling Milwaukee’s streets for pregnant women in hopes of stealing an unborn baby.

After two days of searching, the 33-year-old woman finally spotted Maritza Ramirez-Cruz, who was just a week from her due date.

Morales-Rodriguez lured the young Puerto Rican immigrant into her home, according to court documents, and beat her with a baseball bat before cutting her full-term fetus from her womb with an X-Acto knife, killing both the mother and the baby.

Morales-Rodriguez faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide while armed and first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child while armed.

If convicted, she faces mandatory life in prison.

She told investigators she had grown increasingly desperate as her own supposed due date approached. She said she planned for two weeks to find a pregnant woman, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday.

Her search started last Wednesday, court documents say.

On Thursday, she drove around a nonprofit organization that provides Hispanics with health care and found 23-year-old Ramirez-Cruz, who was pregnant with her fourth child and had gone to her doctor’s office to drop off some paperwork.

During a brief court appearance Monday afternoon, Morales-Rodriguez stood mute as her bail was set at $1 million.

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