HILLSBORO, Ore. – A pregnant 21-year-old newcomer to Oregon who was found dead in a crawl space of a home had been cut open and her baby taken from her womb, investigators said Monday.
It couldn't be determined if the infant son of Heather Snively died before or after he was removed, the Washington County sheriff's department said in a statement.
A 27-year-old Beaverton woman, Korena Roberts, was to be arraigned Monday on a murder charge in Snively's death.
Investigators have said Roberts claimed Snively's infant was her own. Police were called to the home Friday because a newborn wasn't breathing. Doctors were unable to revive him and told officers that Roberts had not given birth. Police then found Snively's body at Roberts' home.
A medical examiner said Monday that Snively died of blunt and sharp force injuries.
"At this time, it has not been determined if she died because of head wounds she received or as a result of cutting injuries she received to her abdomen," the sheriff's office said.
Investigators said Roberts had been telling friends and family members for months that she was pregnant. They said Roberts may have been in contact with other pregnant women.
Snively had recently moved to Oregon from Maryland because her boyfriend and father of the child had found a better job. He reported Snively missing Friday night.
Snively's mother, Heidi Kidd of St. Albans, W.Va., said Snively met Roberts a few weeks ago through Craigslist, the online classified service. Roberts told Snively she was pregnant and wanted baby clothes, Kidd said. They befriended one another and kept talking online.
Kidd told The Associated Press on Sunday that her first grandson was to be named John Steven.
"I'm still in shock; it hasn't hit me," she said. "I mean, that initial phone call; I just couldn't believe it. I just could not believe I was talking about my own child."