Coroner: Michelle Wilkins' baby girl had no signs of life outside womb; No murder charges for Lane

LONGMONT, Colo. - The Boulder County coroner says the baby girl cut from her mother's womb last week was not born alive.

"Neither the autopsy or the investigation have provided any evidence that the baby exhibited any signs of life outside of the womb, therefore the circumstance is not being considered a live birth," coroner Emma Hall said in a statement sent to 7NEWS.

Hall said the 34-week-old gestation baby girl had no signs of trauma or any other injuries.

The baby's mother, Michelle Wilkins, was beaten, cut and abandoned in a home in Longmont where she had gone to buy baby clothes after seeing an ad on Craigslist.

After the attack, Wilkins managed to call 911 for help. She was rescued and underwent surgery and treatment at Longmont United Hospital.

Hours later, a woman, Dynel Lane, arrived at the same hospital with her husband and the deceased child. She told hospital officials and her husband that she had a miscarriage.

However, according to the arrest report, Lane admitted to a detective that she cut open the victim's abdomen to remove the baby girl. Lane once held a license as a nurses' aide in Colorado.

Lane was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly/recklessly resulting in death. 

Officials said Thursday night that Lane would not be charged with murder in the death of the unborn child.

"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," Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said last week. "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."

According to the arrest affidavit, Lane's husband told investigators "he found the small baby lying in the bathtub. He rubbed the baby slightly then rolled it over to hear and see it take a gasping breath." 

Colorado is one of a dozen states that doesn't allow charges for fetal homicide.

Formal charges against Lane were filed in court Friday. They include attempted murder of the mother, multiple counts of assault on the mother and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. 

Wilkins has since been released from the hospital and is in a safe place, according to her family.

On Wednesday, her family released a statement that said, in part, that Michelle was "taking the first tentative steps along a long journey towards recovery and spiritual reconciliation. She is surrounded by friends and family and wishes to express her deep gratitude for all the expressions of love, kindness, and spiritual solidarity she has received from both the Longmont community and from around the world. Michelle believes her recovery is directly aided by the prayers and positive energy she is receiving."

Wilkins' family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for her medical bills and recovery. 

Resources:

Past coverage:

Print this article Back to Top