An 8-month-pregnant woman died after a couple allegedly kidnapped her and sliced her stomach open to steal her unborn child, Mexican authorities said Monday.
The gruesome alleged attack occurred in Mexico's eastern state of Veracruz on Nov. 30, per multiple outlets. Though the woman — identified by federal police as Rosa Isela Castro Vazquez, 20 — succumbed to her wounds, the infant was "was rescued safe and sound and is now receiving attention from the relevant authorities," the Veracruz attorney general's office wrote in a statement.
The alleged assailants are a man and a woman, currently identified by Mexican officials only as Gonzalo and Veronica "N." The two stand accused of kidnapping and femicide.
Gonzalo and Veronica "N" Lured Vazquez on the Pretext of Giving Her Baby Clothes
According to multiple local outlets, the suspects used social media messages to lure Vasquez to a pharmacy near her Veracruz home. They allegedly promised to give her some hand-me-down baby clothes.
After Vazquez went missing, her husband alerted cops to the online chats, which showed she had planned to meet the woman at a pharmacy near her home in the eastern state of Veracruz.
Surveillance footage allegedly showed Vazquez meeting the suspects outside the pharmacy and being escorted into a car. The young woman's body was later found at the Los Arrieros ranch, according to the Attorney General's online statement, with the unborn child cut out of her womb.
Couple Raised Suspicions After Being Unable to Prove Baby as Their Own at Hospital
Later that day, Veronica "N" raised suspicions when she took a newborn to Veracruz Regional Hospital and was unable to prove it was hers, the local reports said.
In its a statement posted on Facebook, the Attorney General of Veracruz said, "The State Attorney General's Office...reports that officials of the Ministerial Police arrested Gonzalo 'N' and Veronica 'N' as alleged perpetrators of [the kidnapping.]"
When the suspects were arrested, "they had a newborn minor with them," the statement says. Local outlets report that the female suspect took the infant to a local hospital but was unable to prove the baby was her own.
They allegedly sliced open the victim to get her fetus because the woman attacker was unable to have children herself, an official linked to the investigation told Agence France-Presse.