Mass. woman charged with murder in womb-cut case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 4:46 PM

A woman who authorities believe faked her own pregnancy was charged Thursday with killing her pregnant friend, cutting her baby girl from her womb and kidnapping the infant.

Julie Corey, 35, was initially charged with kidnapping after authorities found her and the 4-pound girl in a homeless shelter in Plymouth, N.H., in July. On Thursday, a Worcester County grand jury returned indictments charging Corey with both kidnapping and murder.

DNA tests showed that the baby was cut from the womb of Darlene Haynes, 23. Haynes was eight months pregnant when she was killed in her Worcester apartment.

Authorities said Julie Corey, of Worcester, and her boyfriend were friends with Haynes and her boyfriend.

In the months before Haynes was killed, Corey told her family and her boyfriend that she was pregnant. Her boyfriend's family said she introduced a baby girl to them at a family gathering on July 25, two days before Haynes' body was found in a closet, wrapped in bedding.

The state medical examiner determined the cause of death to be "blunt force trauma, asphyxia by ligature strangulation and incision of abdomen."

Corey will plead not guilty when she is arraigned on the murder and kidnapping charges in Worcester Superior Court, said her attorney, Louis Aloise. No date has been set for the arraignment.

"Other than the fact that there was a homicide, I don't know what evidence they have linking her to the particular crime," Aloise said.

Aloise said he believes several people, including Haynes' boyfriend and Corey's boyfriend, "were in a position to be in the company of Miss Haynes at or around the time of her death."

No one else has been charged.

Corey's boyfriend at the time, Alex Dion, could not be reached for comment Thursday. His mother, Cindy Dion, said she and was pleased Corey has been indicted in Haynes' killing.

"I'm glad they got her," Cindy Dion said.

Tim Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., declined to comment on the indictment. He also declined to comment on whether authorities expect to charge anyone else.

The baby is in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families. Several people have said they are seeking guardianship of the child, including Haynes' estranged boyfriend and her aunt and uncle.