LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – The family of a woman who was attacked and lost her baby in a bizarre and gruesome crime says she is in critical but stable condition at Longmont United Hospital.
Michelle Wilkins, 26, was critically wounded on Wednesday when police say she went to suspect Dynel Lane’s house in Longmont to buy baby clothes Lane has listed for sale on Craigslist.
In the basement of the house, Lane, 34, allegedly stabbed Wilkins and cut her baby out of her stomach and then stole it. Wilkins, who was approximately seven months pregnant, then made a desperate call to 911. Lane was gone before emergency responders arrived.
WEB EXTRA: Listen to Wilkins’ 911 Call To Dispatchers
According to court documents, Lane’s husband, David Ridley, came home early to take Lane to a pre-natal appointment. Lane had told her husband and others she was pregnant. When he arrived Lane told him she miscarried their child and it was in the bathtub.
Ridley told officers he found the child alive, wrapped it up and took it with Lane to the hospital. The child didn’t survive.
Lane was initially arrested on charges of attempted first degree murder, among other things, but the complete set of charges she eventually will face will likely depend on the autopsy being done on the child.
Wilkins’ family released the following statement to the Longmont Times Call about the case:
We want to thank the Longmont Public Safety Department and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office for their tireless work and efforts. They represent Colorado’s finest and we sincerely appreciate everything they have done.
We are grateful for the physicians and staff at Longmont United Hospital and the compassionate care they are providing. In addition, we are thankful for the outpouring of love and support from the local community and others who have expressed their condolences. We know you are grieving too, and we truly appreciate the support. In addition, we wish to extend a thank you to the media for your support over the past 24-hours.
Michelle is in critical but stable condition and resting comfortably.
We ask in this time of unimaginable sorrow, that the media and the public respect our need to grieve, recover and heal.
Lane made an initial appearance in Boulder County Court on Thursday afternoon and her bond was set at $2 million. She was held in isolation and her arm was wrapped with a bandage.
The arrest affidavit in the case states the suspect must have done some sort of research on cesarean sections, because the cutting was done with precision.
Family members say more than a decade ago while in a previous relationship Lane lost a young child in a drowning.
The autopsy on the child is being performed by the Boulder County Coroner, and Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said Thursday the coroner’s completed report will determine whether murder charges in the case of the child will be pursued.
WEB EXTRA VIDEO: News Conference by Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett
Garnett said under Colorado law, murder charges can only be brought if it is established that the fetus lived outside of the mother’s womb for a certain amount of time.
He said his office will be investigating the following:
“What was the sequence of events that led to the death of the baby? The second is medically, was the baby alive when it was taken from the body of the mother, and for how long? And third, what was the cause of death for the baby,” Garnett said.
According to court documents, Ridley told police he heard and saw the baby “take a gasping breath.” Prosecutors say that may play a role in determining if murder charges will be filed.