LONGMONT, Colo. - A 911 recording reveals the tense moments when a badly injured pregnant woman called for help from a stranger's basement after being beaten, stabbed and having her unborn child removed from her.
The family of 26-year-old Michelle Wilkins confirmed with 7NEWS that she was the victim in the brutal attack in Longmont.
The recording indicates the call began at 2:31 p.m. Wednesday. After Wilkins explained her location "downstairs" at 1620 Green Place in Longmont, the woman told the dispatcher: "She cut me."
The dispatcher asked, "What did she cut you with?"
"A knife. I'm pregnant. She cut me in my stomach. I'm afraid…" she said weakly.
Portions of the recording that might reveal the victim's identity were redacted by the Longmont Police Department, who supplied the recording to 7NEWS. The suspect, however, has been identified in documents as 34-year-old Dynel Lane.
"Did she have any other weapons beside the knife?" the dispatcher asked the victim.
"She broke a glass," Wilkins said.
"She broke a glass? Did she stab you with the broken glass also?"
"Yeah," she answered.
Lane lives at the home where Wilkins was found and allegedly lured the victim with a Craigslist ad for used baby clothes.
"It's her house," the victim told the dispatcher. "I responded to a Craigslist ad."
The emergency dispatcher, Beth Kemper, told 7NEWS that it was a 911 call unlike any other.
"I've taken a lot of awful calls," she said. "I've had some scary moments, but this was very shocking. This is not something that, you understand, happens in real life. This is something that Hollywood makes up. This is something that happens in a book."
Kemper said the victim called in on a cell phone.
"Cell phones don't provide location, but she had the strength and will to live and was able to provide the address, Kemper said. "She saved herself."
Kemper immediately dispatched officers, but didn't know what they would find when they arrived.
"That is very scary not knowing, especially for us because we cannot see them," she said. "They are going into a situation that is completely unknown to them."
Kemper told 7NEWS that the victim was fading in and out of consciousness.
"She was barely hanging on," she said. "I wasn't aware of the extent of her injuries. I don't know that she was aware."
She said the victim kept asking for help, "and I told her not to go to sleep."
While Kemper was talking to a 7NEWS crew on Thursday afternoon, one of the officers who responded to the call came by and gave her a hug.
Kemper said the officer had a "theory" that someone might be trying to steal a baby, so the dispatcher called Longmont United Hospital and asked if someone came in claiming to have had a child. She said the hospital confirmed it."
"That's when I thought this call was way more than it was at the onset, way worse, way more complicated. And maybe that's the shocking part," she said, "that something of that nature could be entertained and then confirmed."
When officers arrived at approximately 2:41 p.m., they could hear Wilkins calling for help from inside.
"Yeah, they're here!" the victim exclaimed as the officer entered.
Wilkins was rushed to Longmont United Hospital for treatment.
Kemper said she was sorry to hear that the baby didn't survive, but is grateful the mom did.
"My heart really goes out to her," she said. "I hope she recovers well and has the support of some good people."
Lane arrived at the same hospital later with her husband and a deceased baby, claiming she had a miscarriage. She was arrested and booked into the Boulder County Jail, where she made her first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
According to the arrest report, Lane admitted to a detective that she cut open the victim's abdomen to remove it. Staff at the hospital said the baby would have been viable.
An autopsy on the baby is scheduled to be completed Friday, District Attorney Stan Garnett told reporters. The results of that autopsy will be a key consideration in the determination of the charges Lane will face in court.
"The issue of whether or not murder charges are appropriate involving a case involving the death of a fetus or late-term pregnancy is always a difficult issue," he said. "Under Colorado law, there's no way murder charges can be brought if it is not established that the fetus lived as a child outside the body of the mother for some period of time. I don't know the answer yet as to whether that could be established – what our facts are here. One of the issues that we will need to evaluate in connection with that is the medical information from the autopsy."
7NEWS reporter Lindsay Watts talked to the man who lives at the home with Lane. He said they were common-law married and that he believed Lane was pregnant.
Police said he is not currently a suspect in the case.
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.
- Pregnant attack victim ID'd as Michelle Wilkins
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- Stranger who snatched unborn baby due in court
- Stranger stabs pregnant woman, removes baby
- Craigslist used in previous crimes