Woman accused of removing fetus from mother

October 10, 2011 (MILWAUKEE)

Annette Morales-Rodriguez, 33, is charged with two counts of homicide. Her alleged victim, Maritza Ramirez-Cruz, 23, was due to give birth any day.

Police say the suspect's boyfriend wanted a son but Morales-Rodriguez could not get pregnant. So she faked a pregnancy and panicked as the supposed due date approached.

Ramirez-Cruz appears happy and excited in photographs from a few weeks ago at a baby shower given by her Chicago relatives. Now they are in shock over what happened.

"She was a happy person, outgoing. Maybe that is the one of the mistakes she made, being so friendly," said Ruben Cruz, brother.

Ramirez Cruz's relatives say last Thursday the Milwaukee mother of three left her house to do some errands. She was befriended by a stranger who police say offered her a ride. According to a criminal complaint, Morales-Rodriguez took Ramirez-Cruz to her home, beat her to death and cut the baby from the mother's body, then tried to pass the infant off as her own.

"I just hope that person gets the maximum penalty," said Ruben Cruz.

"It's devastating. I can never think of a woman doing something so crazy. I'm not going to say she's crazy, or anything like that. There is no excuse for anything like that," said Maria Cruz, aunt.

Cruz says her niece was so excited about having her fourth and last child that Ramirez-Cruz flew her mother in from Puerto Rico to be there for the birth. The family is now trying to figure out how to pay for a funeral.

"Just thinking how happy and excited and all the plans she had. She loved her kids. She wanted a boy because she wanted two and two," said Cruz.

Maritza Ramirez Cruz and her husband planned to name their fourth child Omar.

Fetal abduction extremely rare.

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