updated 3/2/2009 6:15:15 PM ET 2009-03-02T23:15:15

Police in Mexico arrested a woman who allegedly killed an 11-year-old girl and stole her baby sister, because she wanted a child to show to her migrant husband when he returned from the United States.

Prosecutors in Mexico State, outside Mexico City, said Monday that Nancy Nava, 22, confessed to killing Edna Garcia with a hammer because the girl happened upon her as she stole her 15-month-old sister, Ana Luz.

They quoted Nava as saying she had hatched the plot to save her relationship with her husband, who had been working in the United States and was angry because the couple had no children.

According to prosecutors, Nava said she had told her husband she was pregnant, but later suffered a miscarriage. The husband said he would soon return to Mexico, and Nava said she needed a child to show him.

The baby was recovered unharmed. Nava was taken into custody in Mexico State on Saturday and is being held pending charges of homicide and kidnapping.

The maximum sentence for such crimes in Mexico is 60 years. Defendants can be convicted on multiple counts, but sentences are served concurrently.

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