Indiana mom lured away by 'child welfare worker' found dead; baby safe

Indiana police said Sunday that a missing 23-year-old mother has been found murdered in an apparent plot to steal her newborn baby, who had also disappeared.

Samantha Fleming, of Anderson, and the infant disappeared April 5 with a woman pretending to be an Indiana Department of Child Protective Services worker, Fox 59 in Indianapolis reported.

Cops said they found Fleming’s body Friday in Gary in the home of the phony child welfare worker. The woman, 36, is now a murder suspect, according to cops. She has not been identified and she has not been charged.

Police said Fleming died of multiple stab wounds. Her body was found wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a plastic storage box. Cops said the body also had been doused in bleach.

The station said when cops went to the home they were met by a woman holding Fleming’s 3-week-old baby Serenity.

The station said the woman told cops she didn’t know the baby’s name but her sister, who was in Texas, was the infant's mother.

As she spoke to cops, the woman also said there was a foul odor coming from inside the home. That led to the discovery of Fleming’s body.

Investigators said they located the woman who was in Texas. She was there undergoing treatment for depression. Police said she is the person who posed as a child-welfare worker and lured Fleming to Gary.

Before she met Fleming, the woman had claimed to be pregnant with twins with a due date in March. She later told family members that when the twins were born, one died.

Police told the Chicago Tribune that a room in the Gary home was all set up for a baby girl.

“There was everything you would buy for a new baby. A crib, changing table, diaper bag, carrier, new clothes,” Gary Police Lt. Thomas Pawlak said.

He said it looked like the woman had been plotting to pass off Serenity as her own for a long time.

“It appears that she had been planning this,” Pawlak told the paper.

Fleming had been reported missing by her boyfriend and she and the baby disappeared.

The boyfriend said the woman who said she was with Child Protective Services convinced Fleming that she had to go with her to attend a court meeting.

“She knew a lot about this mother, enough to convince her she was with CPS,” Pawlak said.

In March, a 34-year-old Colorado woman, Dynel Lane, was accused of stabbing a pregnant woman in the stomach and removing her baby, while the expectant mother visited her home to buy baby clothes advertised on Craigslist, authorities said.

The 26-year-old victim survived the attack. Her baby died.