NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A baby was cut from the womb of a 22-year-old woman who was nearly nine months pregnant by a childhood friend with a knife, and the suspect was arrested on a murder charge, police said Saturday.
Angelikque Sutton, 22, had been stabbed multiple times across her body Friday in an apartment on Monticello Avenue in Wakefield.
The suspect, 22-year-old Ashleigh Wade, was taken into custody while screaming that the baby was hers, police said. She was being held on murder, manslaughter and weapons charges.
“I seen when they were wheeling her out and they had the blanket over her head,” said neighbor Diana Rivera.
“The other lady, she looked sad when they took her out of the police car and put her in the ambulance,” said neighbor Vivette Williams.
Detectives discovered a knife and placenta in the blood-spattered apartment building when they responded to an emergency call from Wade’s boyfriend, who had been called to the scene, police said.
Police said the newborn baby girl was delivered just moments after the bloodshed, but Sutton died Friday evening. The infant was in good condition Saturday at a hospital, police said.
Right now, detectives believe Sutton is the mother, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
Sources said Wade is refusing to allow authorities to examine her. Police have ordered blood tests to confirm that the baby girl, named Genesis, belonged to Sutton and not the suspect.
Sources said the two were friends in elementary school and recently reconnected on Facebook, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported. In the days leading up to Friday’s attack, police said the victim and suspect dined together and shopped for baby items.
Police said they have no knowledge that Wade had been pregnant or was currently pregnant and did not appear visibly so when taken into custody.
But those who know Wade were convinced that she was pregnant. Angela Parris, a nurse and the Wade’s landlord, told the Daily News that she believed her tenant was expecting.
“She looked pregnant, she was pregnant,” Parris told the newspaper. “She was getting ready to move to get a bigger apartment.”
The would-be father also appeared to be convinced, posting sonogram photos to social media of an unidentified child and links to a baby registry in Wade’s name that lists Nov. 16 as the due date, Carlin reported.
Bronx City Councilman Andy King (D-12th) said investigators told him they’re looking into one particular theory behind the crime.
“That’s what is being talked about early on — that it was a baby-snatching,” the councilman said.
King, who was briefed by investigators about the case, said Sutton had been strangled then stabbed. He said it was possible the baby had been cut from Sutton’s womb.
“I am very disturbed,” King said. “This is a horrific incident.”
Police sources said while Wade initially told them it was her baby, she later said she and Sutton got into an argument where Wade claims Sutton pulled a knife on her and that she stabbed her in self-defense, Carlin reported.
Meanwhile, family and friends of Sutton said the horrific way she died will haunt them forever.
“I cried because at the end of the day, this is not a person that deserves that,” neighbor Monica Keller said.
“It’s so sad to see that she’s gone,” said neighbor James Jarvis. “I can’t believe she is gone like that.”
Next door neighbor Tamika told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini the neighborhood is stunned by the violence.
“It’s shocking. As you see the street right now, it’s like this all the time,” she said. “Sad, young girls, very sad.”
Investigators were also questioning Sutton’s boyfriend, who told the Daily News the couple was supposed to be married on Friday and they had been together for eight years.
Wade is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
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