LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado woman accused of stabbing a pregnant stranger and taking her unborn baby from her womb had lost a child of her own more than a decade ago when he accidentally drowned, a relative said Thursday.
Dynel Lane’s son was 19 months old in 2002, when he drowned in a shallow pond at the home of her parents near Pueblo, Colorado. Investigators at the time ruled the death an accident.
Lane and her now ex-husband were devastated by the child’s death, said Aaron Cruz, the boy’s paternal grandfather. The couple had two daughters together and had been trying for a boy.
Cruz said Lane seemed like a “fine parent” and relatives were shocked to learn she is accused of luring the pregnant woman to her home through a Craigslist ad for baby clothes and taking her unborn child.
Lane, 34, told her husband when he returned home Wednesday that she had suffered a miscarriage, police said. He rushed her to a hospital with the baby, who did not survive.
The 26-year-old expectant mother, who was seven months pregnant, was found beaten and stabbed at the suspect’s home, Longmont police Cmdr. Jeff Satur said.
She managed to call 911 but was in poor condition and barely conscious when officers arrived.
In a recording of the call, a woman with a dazed-sounding voice says she has been stabbed and pleads for help.
“She cut me,” the woman says, later adding, “I’m pregnant.”
“Please help me,” she says. “Help, help.”
Police said the woman was alert and answering questions Thursday after undergoing surgery.
The mother was responding to the online ad and “when she got into the house, she was attacked, she was beaten, and her baby was removed or cut out of her,” Satur said.
Lane had left the house when police arrived.
Lane and the pregnant woman, who was not identified, did not know each other, investigators said. Police are looking for any other mothers who may have responded to Lane’s ad for baby clothes.
Lane was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly and recklessly resulting in death.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office will consider what formal charges to file.
“The issues involving an unborn child are complicated under Colorado law,” he told the Longmont Times-Call. “In most circumstances, if a child was not actually born alive, then homicide charges are not possible.”
A July 2002 obituary for Lane’s son, Michael Alexander Cruz, in the Pueblo Chieftan said the boy loved playing with his sisters, cousins and friends and had just learn to sing his first song, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
Lane’s then-husband wasn’t home at the time of the drowning, the newspaper reported at the time. She and their two daughters, then 5 and 3, searched for the boy until they found him in the fish pond.
He had been playing a game with his sisters while their mother was busy in another part of the house, the newspaper said.
Jennifer Farrar of AP’s News Research Center in New York contributed to this report.