DENVER - Friends of a woman accused of using a Craigslist ad to lure a pregnant woman to her home to steal her unborn child told the CALL7 investigators that they were suspicious of her claimed pregnancy -- some even thought it was a lie.
Police said Dynel Lane, 34, is being held on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and child abuse knowingly/recklessly resulting in death, after she admitted to a detective that she cut open the victim's abdomen to remove her baby.
Lane's friends described her as friendly, outgoing, and loving, and they were happy when her boyfriend proposed to her last year, after she announced that she was pregnant.
She told friends she was having a boy, and created an online registry. Lane even held a baby shower last fall.
However, as her Nov. 14 due date came and went, Lane's friends said she avoided questions about the baby and would get angry when they asked her for updates.
"Her excuse for not going to the doctor was that the doctors in Denver were too busy to get her in," said one friend.
When they heard the news of the attack and her subsequent arrest on Wednesday, one of Lane's friends said, "This was a shock when we heard what happened. And right away I said, 'I bet you it was Dynel.'"
Here's what the CALL7 investigators have learned about Lane:
- From 2010 to 2012, she held a Colorado Nurse's Aide license.
- According to the arrest affidavit, the doctor treating the victim said the incision was "well performed" and it appeared the person responsible had researched cesarean births "to achieve that level of accuracy."
- In an obituary from July 2002, Lane, known then as Dynel Cruz, lost her 19-month-old son. The Pueblo County coroner says the child drowned in a small pond outside a home. The death was ruled accidental.
In January, a friend of Lane's husband wrote a post on a private Facebook page for breastfeeding mothers, asking for advice on about her friend's wife who had a suspicious pregnancy.
She posted: "I have a friend whose wife is pregnant and he confided on (sic) my fiancé that she refuses to go to the doctor. Her whole pregnancy has been sketchy…She supposedly had a hysterectomy but then got pregnant (which I know CAN happen) and she wouldn't let him go to the doctors with her. Then she was supposedly due mid November then mid December. Here it is mid January and still no baby…I'm confused. Is it considered child endangerment if she won't go to the doctor? I don't know how long it's been but her husband is concerned."
A woman who saw that post, Elizabeth Petrucelli, responded, "This is a RED FLAG for me. She may be attempting to find someone whom she can 'get' a baby from in order to present this to her husband."
Petrucelli used to work security at a hospital and was trained on how to spot a mother who might want to abduct a newborn. She is also a bereavement doula, someone who supports families through pregnancy and infant loss, and responded with what now seems like a chilling prediction.
"She has likely made this up, maybe because she is grieving her lost uterus and the fact that she can no longer carry a baby in her womb. My concern would be for any pregnant woman being around her because if she is desperate, she may do the unmentionable and harm the mother and take the baby," Petrucelli said. (Read more about this Facebook conversation.)
Since Wednesday's attack allegedly started with the victim, Michelle Wilkins, answering a craigslist ad for baby clothes, Longmont police say they would like to speak with any other women who may have answered Lane's Craigslist ad.
If you have recently answered an ad for baby clothes or baby items from someone who represented herself as "D" or Dynel or gone to her address at 1620 Green Place, call the Longmont Police Department as soon as possible at 303-651-8501.
Wilkins, 26, is being treated at Longmont United Hospital where she underwent surgery and is expected to recover.
Police say she is alert, answering questions and is with her family.
- Comment on Facebook unknowingly predicted baby theft
- Autopsy on baby scheduled for Friday
- Pregnant attack victim ID'd as Michelle Wilkins
- Murder charge? Baby had gasping breath
- Listen to 911 call from victim released
- Read arrest report for Dynel Lane
- Suspect who cut baby from womb was nurses' aide
- Bond set at $2 million for stranger who snatched unborn baby
- Craigslist used in previous crimes
- Stranger stabs pregnant woman, removes baby