A woman is accused of killing the mother of a newborn baby and then claiming the child as her own.
The name of the suspect has not been released, but she lives in Gary, Indiana, and is reportedly 36 years old. She has been taken into custody by authorities.
The body of the victim, Samantha Fleming, 23, was found in the home of the suspect on Friday, wrapped in plastic and doused with bleach, reports The Daily Mail.
The suspect reportedly went to Fleming’s home, which she shared with her boyfriend and infant daughter, Serenity, nearly two weeks ago under the guise of being a social worker. She convinced Fleming that she needed to come with her to a court hearing and they left with the baby.
Fleming’s boyfriend notified police that she was missing and told them about the woman who came to their home, suspecting she was not who she claimed to be. Police were able to pick up Fleming’s cell phone signal, which led them to Gary.
A foul odor was detected coming from a small one-story house. Fleming’s body was discovered inside.
CBS Chicago reports she had been stabbed to death.
Inside the suspect’s home, a nursery had been set up. She had also reportedly told others she had recently given birth.
“It appears that she had been planning this,” Lt. Thomas Pawlak said. “There was everything you would buy for a new baby. A crib, changing table, diaper bag, carrier, new clothes.”
Serenity was found with the suspect’s sister, when she came to the home to pick up some items. She told police that her sister had asked her to care for the child while she went to visit their mother in Texas.
The suspect is now in police custody and charges have not yet been filed.
Police believe the suspect knew a great deal of information about Fleming but have not concluded how.
The suspect is not affiliated with Child Protective Services.
“She knew a lot about this mother,” Pawlak said. “Enough to convince her she was with CPS.”
The baby is in good health and is being cared for by Fleming’s family.