Almost three years after her husband was killed, the widow of a slain NYPD officer has given birth to his son using preserved sperm.
In December 2014, New York police officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot and killed while sitting in an unmarked police vehicle in Brooklyn, New York Daily News reports.
Wenjian's wife, Pei Xia Chen, who goes by the name Sanny Liu, had requested that her husband's sperm be frozen. Sperm can be collected up to 24 hours after death, according to experts, and can be permanently preserved for in vitro fertilization if it is frozen properly.
Wenjian and Ramos were killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who threatened to commit the crime with an online post: "I'm putting wings on pigs today." Brinsley later killed himself.
The night that the shooting occurred, Sanny said that she had a dream where Wenjian handed a baby girl to her.
"I told my friend: 'It's going to be a girl," said Sanny. "My friend said: 'No, you haven't even checked the sonograms.' But I was right."
Sanny gave birth to the baby girl in the early hours of July 25.
"Her name is Angelina, like an angel, like my son is an angel," Wenjian's mother, Xiu Yan Li, said of her newborn granddaughter. "I'm just so happy."
"She looks like my daughter-in-law," said Xiu. "But this part, the eyes and the forehead, looks like my son. The top of the face looks like my son. The bottom looks like her mother."
"The head looks exactly like my son," she added. "I see my son in her."
"The parents were very emotional, crying and holding the baby," friend of the family and fellow police widow Maria Dziergowski said, according to the New York Post.
"The baby’s adorable, smiling, laughing," said Dziergowski. "She has a lot of hair, a lot of black hair."
According to Susan Zhuang, who translated for Wenjian's parents, Sanny had tried in vitro fertilization but didn't tell Xiu and Wenjian's father, Wei Tang Liu, that she had gotten pregnant.
"She kept trying," said Zhuang, "but she was worried about them worrying about her. So she didn't tell them until it was successful."
Sanny said that she's excited to tell her daughter about her heroic father when she gets older, and to introduce her to her "big blue family" of the NYPD, according to WNBC.
The couple had been married for just three months before Wenjian's murder, and the two had always planned on having children.