WICHITA, Kan. -- A Texas woman suspected of faking a pregnancy for months and kidnapping a newborn was a longtime acquaintance of the girl’s mother, who was found shot to death at her Kansas home, authorities said Monday.
Yesenia Sesmas, 34, of Dallas, was being held in a Dallas jail on a Kansas warrant, with first-degree murder and kidnapping charges pending. Authorities who are pursuing the charges are seeking to have her extradited back to Kansas.
Police say Sesmas faked a pregnancy for several months before allegedly killing the infant’s mother and kidnapping the child, reports CBS affiliate KWCH.
The baby was reunited with family members in Kansas on Saturday.
The baby’s mother, 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda, was found dead at her home Thursday, setting off a search for the missing baby, whose name has been spelled by police both as Sophia or Sofia. The infant was six days old when she was reported missing.
Sesmas had known the baby’s mother for years and had spent some time in Wichita before returning to Texas to live several months ago, Wichita police Lt. Todd Ojile said. She traveled to Wichita to kidnap the baby, he added.
The FBI joined in the investigation with 25 agents working on the case, Ojile said.
Late Friday night investigators identified a suspect in the case, leading them to a house in Dallas where the baby was found unharmed after a swat team executed a search warrant at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
The baby was inside the home along with Sesmas. Also living there were Sesmas’ boyfriend along with the suspect’s son and niece.
Police do not believe the others in the home were aware of the woman’s plans, Ojile said.
Jose Abarca, the child’s uncle, told the station the family is overjoyed to have the baby home but he is grieving the loss of his sister.
“Laura was a loving mother, she was an amazing person,” he said. “I know she was only a mother for six days, but pretty sure those were the best moments for her.”
He said the infant is ”pretty much the last that we have from my sister.” He said the family prayed that the baby would be found unharmed.
“We were saying, ‘Please, God, help us find Sophia alive,’ And I think God heard us,” Abarca said.