Woman Fakes Pregnancy, Attempts to Steal a Baby

Stories of false pregnancies and kidnapped babies seem to pop up in soap operas or primetime dramas, but one small Midwest town is making headlines after two new parents were stabbed as a woman allegedly tried to snatch their one-month old baby.

Stephanie Foster, 34, of Terre Haute, Indiana, is facing five felony charges after allegedly stabbing Ashley and Michael Speer as part of a complicated ruse to hide a miscarriage from her husband.

Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel said Foster hid her miscarriage from her husband, who was “elated” about the pregnancy, by gradually stuffing her shirt with pillows, and using a paintbrush hidden inside her clothing to make it seem like the “baby” was moving, according to the Boston Herald.

She also attended baby showers that were held in her honor, and forged birth certificates while taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College.

As her delivery date approached, she began checking the birth announcements in the local newspaper, which is how she found the Speers and their month-old baby boy. Ms. Foster allegedly entered the home with no intention of hurting the couple, and she simply asked to use the phone. Mrs. Speer let her in. Her husband, who works nights, was sleeping inside the home. Ms. Foster dialed a random number, hung up and went back to her car. She then returned with a BB gun and a knife, according to police reports.

Ms. Foster began stabbing Mrs. Speer, and when Mr. Speer heard her yells, he woke up and entered the living room to find an apparently pregnant woman stabbing his wife. Ms. Foster then turned to attack him until he subdued her. The police arrived soon after to arrest her.

Both the Speers were treated for stab wounds. Mr. Speer was released immediately; Mrs. Speer was in critical condition but has since been released. As for the baby, he slept through it all.

Ms. Foster has since been charged with no less than five felonies: attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, attempted criminal confinement, and two counts of aggravated battery, according to CBS News. If convicted of all five crimes, she could face up to 160 years in jail.

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reported that Ms. Foster appeared from jail via video link and seemed confused, though she expressed concern for Mrs. Speer’s health.

She has been appointed a public defender, and it is not yet clear whether she will enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. No cameras were allowed in the courtroom while Ms. Foster was being charged, though the hearing had members of state, local, and national news media listening in and taking notes.

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