WASHINGTON — A 29-year-old homeless woman has given birth to a baby girl after, police said, she was befriended by a Maryland woman who held her captive for several days and tried to cut the baby from her womb.
Officer Michelle Reedy, a spokeswoman for Prince George's County police, said 40-year-old Veronica Deramous of Suitland, Md., has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, false imprisonment and other related charges. Police said Deramous befriended Teka Adams at a southeast Washington homeless shelter and persuaded her to come to her apartment on Dec. 1 with a promise of baby clothes and other items for the unborn child.
Once there, Reedy said, Deramous bound the woman, who was in her third trimester. Days later, the woman escaped after Deramous tried to cut the unborn baby from her body, Reedy said.
"She bound the victim's hands and proceeded to try to cut the victim's abdomen to try to get the baby out," she said. "They believe she wanted the victim's baby."
Police said Deramous told some people she was pregnant even though she was not.
Police said Adams is expected to recover. Her daughter — named Miracle Sky — was delivered by emergency cesarean section.
When police found Adams her "abdomen was cut and her intestines, stomach and placenta were exposed," according a police report. In the apartment, officers found bloody towels and a bowl with water and washcloths on a bedroom floor. They also found a box cutter and some razor blades, which they believe Deramous used to cut Adams, Reedy said.
According to the police report, Deramous had her 17-year-old son hold Adams' hands behind her back as she bound her with duct tape and then held her in a bedroom for several days. Her son has not been charged.
On Saturday, Deramous told Adams: "You're strong, you can handle what I'm going to do to you," the report said. She then turned up the volume of the TV in the bedroom, gagged Adams and began to cut her abdomen open. Adams moaned in pain and Deramous stopped, police said.
While Deramous slept early Sunday, Adams freed herself and fled the apartment. She went upstairs and knocked on doors before a neighbor called police. Deramous' son told police after his mother saw Adams outside, the two women began fighting and neighbors came out, the report said. Deramous and her son then left before police arrived.
Deramous was later arrested in Virginia's Arlington County. She remained in Virginia on Tuesday while she awaits being transported to Maryland to face the charges. There was no attorney listed for Deramous on online court records and prosecutors did not know of one.
A nun who answered the phone at the Queen of Peace, Missionaries of Charity shelter for pregnant women in southeast Washington told The Associated Press that the victim had stayed there for at least one month and left the shelter last week, but did not know Deramous.
The county Department of Social Services said it is accepting donations on behalf of the family, including clothing and money, after receiving several calls on Tuesday from those wanting to help.
Deramous was expected to appear in court on Wednesday.