The body of 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda was found Thursday at her home in Wichita, Kansas, and her 6-day-old baby girl was missing from the home.
Yesenia Sesmas, 34, of Dallas, Texas was arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnapping.
In an interview with KUVN-TV, Sesmas said that Abarca-Nogueda had agreed to turn over her newborn daughter to her but baked out of the agreement. In the same interview, she admitted killing the woman but said it wasn’t intentional. She claimed that it discharged accidentally after she threatened Abarca-Nogueda with it.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Suspect She Shot Abarca-Nogueda to Death Before Kidnapping Her Baby
A manhunt was underway Thursday after Abarca-Nogueda’s live-in boyfriend came home from work to find the woman dead, and their 6-day-old baby, Sophia, missing.
Lt. Todd Ojile said Sesmas was arrested in the killing of Laura Abarca-Nogueda, who had been shot to death, and the kidnapping of the infant, according to KAKE.
Authorities believe Sesmas traveled from her home in Dallas, Texas, to Wichita, Kansas, in order to abduct the child.
2. A SWAT Team Saved the Baby
On Friday night the suspect was identified and investigators were led to a home in Dallas where Sesmas resided.
“On Friday, members of the Wichita FBI office along with the special agents of the FBI CARD Team began arriving in Wichita, and a command post was set up,” Lt. Ojile said, as reported by KAKE. “Approximately 25 agents from the FBI continued the investigation.”
Early Saturday morning the Dallas SWAT team obtained a warrant and searched the residence, where they found baby Sophia, who was then safely taken into protective custody.
“Immediately upon learning that Sophia was found safely in Dallas, investigators from the Wichita Police Department boarded a Sedgwick County sheriff’s plane and flew to Dallas to conduct the interviews,” Ojile stated.
Sesmas shared a home with her boyfriend, her son and a niece, who were all questioned by authorities, Lt. Ojile said. Through the interviews, he said it was determined that Sesmas was responsible for the crimes.
3. She Knew the Victim for Years & Allegedly Faked a Pregnancy for Months
Investigators believe Sesmas had known Abarca-Nogueda as an aquaintance for several years, CBS Crimesider reported.
According to police, Sesmas faked being pregnant for several months before allegedy driving to Wichita to murder Abarca-Nogueda, and kidnap the baby. She had previously lived in Wichita and had returned to Dallas within the last several months.
KWCH spoke with the baby’s uncle, Jose Abarca. “I don’t think this kind of thing will ever go away,” he told the station. “Sophia is pretty much the last that we have from my sister. I know her name is Sophia, but to me her name is going to be secretly, Laurita, like I call her. I think she’s the image of my sister. A little Laura.”
4. She Was in the Country Illegally
WFAA reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t have previous contact with Sesmas, but said there was a “hold” on her for being in the United States illegally.
Sesmas’ Facebook page states that she is from “Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacan De Ocampo, Mexico.”
“Late Saturday afternoon, Sesmas was booked into the Dallas County Jail on an outstanding felony warrant through Sedgwick County with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges pending,” Ojile said.
5. A Child Is Abducted Every 40 Seconds in the United States
According to Parents.com,”every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.”
According to the publication, most kidnapping cases are resolved within hours and are usually committed by a relative. Parents.com stated:
Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct types of kidnapping: kidnapping by a relative of the victim or ‘family kidnapping’ (49 percent), kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or ‘acquaintance kidnapping’ (27 percent), and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or ‘stranger kidnapping’ (24 percent).