A 23-year-old pregnant woman was found dead in her apartment with her fetus cut from her womb, and police on Wednesday were trying to find the missing baby, which they said could have survived.
Authorities said Darlene Haynes was about eight months pregnant and the child would have needed immediate medical attention to survive, The Associated Press reports.
On Monday, residents in her building on Southgate Street called the landlord to report a strong odor coming from her second-floor apartment. The victim’s body was found in a bedroom closet, police said.
Haynes’s body was so mangled and decomposed that police said they could not immediately identify her gender.
The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Boston, and an autopsy conducted yesterday confirmed that she had been killed and that the fetus had been cut from her womb. The cause of death was not yet known, but Worcester Detective Captain Edward J. McGinn Jr. told the Telegram & Gazette that Haynes had also sustained head trauma.
"Detectives are searching for this fetus," police said in a statement last night, reports Boston Globe.
ABC's Boston affiliate WCVB reported today that Haynes had three other children, but only her 18-month-old daughter lived with her.
According to ABC News, Haynes had taken out a restraining order on Roberto Rodriguez, the father of that child and of her fetus. He is not considered a suspect in her death.
"She was a nice girl. She had her problems, you know?" Rodriguez told WCVB. "But nobody deserves to go through what she went through."