LONG BEACH, Calif. — A woman police say concocted a plot to kill mothers and steal their babies to pass off as her own calls herself a mogul, a motivational speaker, a songwriter and one of the "kindest women you will ever meet" on her many websites.
But police paint Giseleangelique René D'Milian, 47, as a twisted schemer who was out to convince her married boyfriend that she had given birth to his twins last December outside the country. There is no indication he knew of the plans.
"She fabricated a story and wanted him to believe these children were his. Why? We don't know," Long Beach police Lt. Lloyd Cox said.
She and three others were arrested Wednesday in what police called an "evil" scheme that led to the abduction and killing of a 3-week-old girl in January after her family was shot and wounded in a home invasion. A second woman was attacked in February with a baseball bat in an unsuccessful attempt to steal her 4-month-old son, police said.
D'Milian and 29-year-old Anthony McCall are accused of murder, kidnapping and other crimes, while D'Milian's daughter, Charisse Shelton, 30, and Todd Boudreaux, 44, have been accused of helping cover up the crimes, authorities said. It wasn't clear if they have attorneys or would request public defenders at a hearing Friday.
The details emerged a week after a Colorado woman who told her family she was pregnant lured an expectant mother to her home and cut the unborn baby from her belly, authorities said. The baby didn't survive, but the mother has been released from a hospital.
In D'Milian's case, no hint of violent tendencies appear on her multiple websites and international fan accounts, where she went by René Reyes. She advertised herself as the founder of an independent recording label and a professional speaker who has helped multinational corporations improve their operations. She had 271 podcasts on iTunes under the title "Speak Into Existence With René Reyes."
One website called her "one of the most sincere and kindest women you will ever meet. Her biggest downfall would be trying to help others, even those who later may show not to deserve it."
Police believe the only child abducted in the plot was 3-week-old Eliza Delacruz. D'Milian and 29-year-old Anthony McCall followed Eliza and her mother on Jan. 3 as they rode a Long Beach bus, police said.
D'Milian briefly spoke with the woman, then McCall burst into their home two hours later, shot the baby's parents and uncle and kidnapped Eliza, police said. The baby was found dead in a trash bin the following day in Imperial Beach, a Mexican border city 100 miles away.
Investigators wouldn't say how Eliza died and declined to discuss what may have motivated the woman's accomplices beyond saying that McCall was a friend.
A month later, McCall attacked a 23-year-old mother with a baseball bat in an El Segundo hotel room, aiming to take her baby, police said. Hotel workers intervened, scaring him away, and the child wasn't hurt.
Police say they know about D'Milian's online persona.
"She seems very intelligent," said Cox, the Long Beach lieutenant. "The detective says she's charismatic, she speaks well."
D'Milian portrayed herself online as a "masterful genius behind so many ventures" with a published book called "Speak Into Existence: Affirmations For Success."
She helped sponsor the Leadership Success Summit in 2013 and spoke for 30 minutes, receiving praise from the crowd, said Lisa Marie Platske, who plans the annual event.
Leticia Wright met D'Milian through a business networking event about eight years ago and said she was a fun person who was often traveling.
D'Milian sometimes referred to having twins, but Wright had never met them. The two fell out of touch in the last year and Wright was stunned by the accusations.
"I cannot imagine her doing this. That does not sound like her to me," Wright said. But, she added, "when you see people in their suit and tie, looking good and speaking from the stage, I guess that's kind of all you see."