Boyfriend Makes Plea for Return of Murdered Pregnant Mother's Baby

The boyfriend of a brutally murdered woman whose fetus was carved out of her womb warned the killer to return the baby and "turn yourself in or keep running," the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Wednesday.

Darlene Haynes, 23, was eight months pregnant when she was found mutilated and wrapped in a comforter Monday in a closet in her apartment. Her unborn daughter, whom family said she planned to name Sheila Marie, had been cut out and taken.

Her longtime on-again, off-again boyfriend, Roberto Rodriguez, whom she had an active restraining order against, said he was distraught over her killing.

"I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't think,” Rodriguez, 24, told the Telegram on Wednesday. “She hung out with the wrong crowd simply 'cause she wanted to fit in.”

Police say they have interviewed Rodriguez and he isn't a suspect in Haynes' murder or the theft of her child. It isn't clear who the child's father is.

“Turn yourself in or keep running,” Rodriguez said outside his mother's house. “The lord is going to catch up to you. Drop the kid off. Drop the kid off at a hospital.”

But the couple apparently had a tumultuous relationship.

Rodriguez is facing charges of aggravated assault and battery and intimidation of a witness. The case stems from a June 24 incident in which Haynes accused him of pushing her into a glass table and disconnecting the phone to stop her from calling police.

Court records also show that Rodriguez was charged with hitting Haynes in 2008 in a separate case that was continued without a finding.

Haysha Toledo, 17, a neighbor who said she often saw Haynes walking in what she called "a nice quiet neighborhood," said neighbors used to hear "a lot of fighting" from the apartment Haynes shared until recently with Rodriguez.

"We used to hear her crying and screaming but no one ever really did anything," Toledo said, adding that neighbors did not want to get involved.

Haynes' landlord William Thompson, who found her dead, said Rodriguez moved out of the apartment last month.

Detectives searched hospitals and other areas Wednesday for the missing baby and for the killer.

Haynes had been dead for several days when her decomposing body was found by Thompson, who was responding to a report of a bad odor coming from inside. The body was so mutilated that police said they couldn't immediately determine her gender.

Haynes was last seen alive July 23. Police say the baby could survive but would need medical attention immediately.

Detective Capt. Edward McGinn Jr. told the Telegram that Haynes suffered head injuries in the attack. The medical examiner ruled Haynes' death a homicide, but the exact cause won't be known until toxicology tests are complete.

Haynes' aunt, Sandra Grandmaison, told the Herald she last talked to her niece two weeks ago. She said she was a troubled young woman who never graduated from high school or developed mentally.

“She was a very sad, very young girl who never really grew up,” said Grandmaison, 58. “Darlene does not have the know-how or the ability to sense danger.”

Anyone with information on the case or the whereabouts of the baby is urged to call Worcester detectives at (508) 799-8651.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.