Cops: Fake Social Worker Killed Mom, Took Newborn

Baby found safe; suspect traced to hospital
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2015 12:33 AM CDT
Cops: Fake Social Worker Killed Mom, Took Newborn
Police in Anderson say they traced Fleming to the address in Gary.   (Sarah Rose/The Daily Record via AP)

The only known witness is just weeks old, and the only suspect is in a Texas hospital being treated for depression, but police know something horrible happened to a young mother in Gary, Ind. Police believe a woman claiming to be from the Department of Child Services lured 23-year-old Samantha Fleming to a home in the city before killing her and taking her baby, CBS Chicago reports. Fleming and her 3-week-old daughter, Serenity, were reported missing by her boyfriend in Anderson, more than 100 miles away, after they never returned from what the woman claimed was a court hearing, and police found Fleming's body on Friday. She had been stabbed multiple times, doused in bleach, and dumped in a plastic bin, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Police say they found the baby at the Gary home with a woman who said it was the child of her sister, who had left town. Serenity was returned to relatives and the 36-year-old suspect was tracked down to the Texas hospital. She appears to have planned this for a long time and learned enough about Fleming to convince her she was a social worker, a police spokesman tells the Tribune. He says the woman had set up a room in the home with everything needed for a baby girl. Police say the suspect told relatives she was pregnant with twins, later claiming one died during delivery. She has not been charged, but police say they have taken "precautions" to stop her fleeing the hospital, the AP reports. (A 2-year-old boy was found safe when a man realized he was babysitting a kidnap victim.)

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