Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Fetal Snatchers

Quick Recovery

A tip phoned in by someone who spotted a red Honda resembling the one the authorities were seeking helped to establish that Bobbie Jo's killer had fled to Kansas. Police there found the car but lost it on a dark lane when the driver shut off the lights and kept going.

Map with Melvern Kansas Locator
Map with Melvern Kansas Locator

On the following day, thanks to computer security specialists, authorities learned the address of Bobbi Jo's visitor and located the red Honda in a driveway at a home in Melvern, Kansas. There, they found a baby girl and arrested Lisa Montgomery.

Victoria Jo's Father, Zeb Stinnett
Victoria Jo's Father, Zeb Stinnett

Her claim that she had given birth at the Topeka Birth and Women's Centre the day before turned out to be a lie. In her car were a rope, a knife, gloves, a ski mask, and other incriminating items. The child was in good health and DNA tests soon confirmed she was the Stinnetts' baby. Zeb Stinnett was allowed to take her home. Conflicted over the loss of his wife, he nevertheless rejoiced to have his daughter back safely, and named her Victoria Jo.

Victoria Jo Stinnett
Victoria Jo Stinnett

With the FBI involved, Montgomery, 36, finally broke down and confessed to the murder and kidnapping. Since she had deceived her husband about being pregnant, he was not charged. Eventually the story came out.

Montgomery had set up Stinnett by showing interest in her dogs. A photo surfaced, indicating they may have met some months earlier at a dog show. Apparently, she had estimated when Bobbie Jo would be about a month from delivery, which ensured that the baby could survive if delivered prematurely. So she had made the appointment and done the deed, leaving Bobbie Jo to bleed to death.

Then Montgomery had phoned her husband from Topeka to say that she had given birth while on a shopping trip there. He drove to meet her, and took her and the new baby home, little suspecting that this child not only was not his but had been ripped out of a murdered woman. Montgomery actually showed the infant around to people in a bank, alerting a neighbor to notify the police because the infant was obviously premature.

Montgomery's former husband, Carl Boman, told reporters for the Associated Press that Montgomery had often sought attention by pretending to be pregnant, but she'd had her tubes tied fourteen years earlier. She was charged with kidnapping resulting in a death and held in prison. Before her trial commenced, several complicated issues arose.

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