Baby Abby Found Safe, Suspect In Custody - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/20/06

Baby Abby Found Safe, Suspect In Custody

Stephanie Ochsenbine, shown in her 2004 high school senior picture, gave birth to Abigale on September 8. Stephanie Ochsenbine, shown in her 2004 high school senior picture, gave birth to Abigale on September 8.
Police released this composite image of the suspect based on the mother's description Police released this composite image of the suspect based on the mother's description

UNION, Missouri (CNN) -- A Missouri woman stabbed a mother and abducted her 11-day-old girl last week after her full-term pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the FBI said Tuesday, announcing the infant's recovery.

The woman, intially identified by police as Shannon Beck but who later claimed to have a different name, was arrested in connection with the disappearance of 11-day-old Abigale "Abby" Lynn Woods, who became known as "Baby Abby." The woman's age was not immediately known.

Beck miscarried a full-term fetus on Friday, the same day Abby was abducted and the baby's mother, 21-year-old Stephanie Ochsenbine, was attacked with a knife, authorities said. Beck lived several miles away from Ochsenbine's residence, said FBI Special Agent Roland Corvington.

Beck took the baby, but left Ochsenbine's 1-year-old son Connor unharmed, police said. Ochsenbine walked about 300 yards to a neighbor's home and reported, "Someone stole my baby."

A sign outside Ochsenbine's Lonedell, Missouri, home announcing Abigale's September 8 birth played a part in how Beck chose her victim, Corvington said.

Beck called her sister-in-law, Dorothy Torrez, on Sunday to say she had given birth, and Torrez visited Beck on Monday and Tuesday, Corvington said.

While accompanying Beck to a doctor's appointment Tuesday, Torrez noticed makeup on the baby's forehead, the special agent said. Police reports had indicated the baby had a birthmark on her forehead.

While Beck was inside the doctor's office, Torrez rubbed Abigale's forehead with her cap and the makeup came off, revealing a birthmark, Corvington said. Torrez called her own husband and Beck's husband before confronting Beck, asking her if she had attacked the infant's mother, the agent said.

Beck told Torrez she found the baby along a road, Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said.

The district attorney is expected to announce charges against Beck Wednesday morning, Toelke said.

When the pair got home, there was an argument over the child, and Beck's husband gave the baby to Torrez and told her to take the infant to police. Torrez and "a friend" returned the child to police about 5 p.m. Tuesday, Corvington said.

Authorities had not yet interviewed Beck's husband, Toelke said

The child was reported to be in good condition at a hospital Tuesday, police said. She has been reunited with her family. The baby was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday night, Toelke said.

'Quite exciting'

Toelke said Beck gave herself up through an intermediary. Beck matched a description given by the mother, he said.

Toelke was with the family when Abigale was found and said they were delighted when he told them, "Let's go to the hospital and see how Abby was doing."

"It was quite exciting," he said. "It was outstanding."

Ochsenbine told police a woman in a black scarf knocked her door Friday, asking to use the phone. Once inside, the woman attacked her and stole the baby. Lonedell is about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis.

When Ochsenbine was taken to the hospital after the incident, a doctor told authorities her wounds were consistent with her account of what happened, Toelke said.

A bloodied knife that may have been used in the attack was found in the woods near her home by National Guard troops brought in to search for the missing child.

Toelke said Ochsenbine was "with the suspect for a substantial period of time and was able to give us a good description," although she didn't see the suspect's vehicle.

Ochsenbine told authorities she believes she managed to stab the suspect in the leg during the struggle.

Corvington said investigators received more than 300 calls from people with information on the case, including tips from Texas, Minnesota, Virginia and Oklahoma.

CNN's Jonathan Freed contributed to this report.

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