Little things nagged at Cindy Dion while her son's girlfriend, Julie Corey, was pregnant: One month Corey said she was four months' pregnant — the next it was eight. Her due date pushed back drastically as it neared. And Corey suddenly refused to let Dion's son, Alex, accompany her to the doctor.
But Dion put her questions aside when her granddaughter was born last week, and her son couldn't stop smiling. The family even held a cookout to welcome the child, whom he and his girlfriend planned to name Alida Nevaeh.
Now, the baby is in state custody and Julie Corey — Alex Dion's on-and-off girlfriend of two years — is in jail on $2 million bail and has been charged with being a fugitive from justice. She also faces an accusation that she kidnapped an infant who was cut out of her mother's womb. The mother, Darlene Haynes, a friend of Corey's, was found dead Monday in Worcester. Police have not yet charged anyone in her death.
Cindy Dion said Friday it's devastating that she got a chance to hold and love the baby when Haynes never did. She struggles to speak when she considers she might never see the baby she thought was her granddaughter again.
"It's killing me. I've got a hole in my heart," Dion said before breaking down and weeping.
Dion said Corey was clearly expecting when the family held a shower for her in May. But looking back, Dion said, Corey's behavior during the pregnancy was odd.
She told the family she was four months' pregnant in April but said she was eight months' pregnant by the shower a month later. She wouldn't let Alex Dion accompany her on doctor's visits after a test indicated the baby might have developmental problems. The baby was originally due in mid-June, but Corey, 35, told the family she was going to have a cesarean section in late July.
Dion said she was set to go the hospital July 24 to be with Corey after the procedure, but Corey called her the night before to say she was about to give birth. Then, Corey called Friday morning to ask her to visit the baby at her home, not a hospital.
The blood in the baby's ear and the neck was odd — she thought hospitals cleaned newborns much better than that.
Still, Cindy Dion believed the baby was Corey's until her distraught son called from New Hampshire on Wednesday, the day police arrested Corey. He told her, "The baby's not ours."
Dion said her biggest question is what happened to Corey's pregnancy. Did she miscarry? If so, what happened to the child's body? "I want to know where my grandbaby is," she said.
'He cried so hard'
Alex Dion couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday, but he told the Boston Herald he never doubted the child was his. "I thought I had a brand-new daughter," he said.
His mother said her 27-year-old son was racked with grief on the ride home from New Hampshire.
"He cried so hard he couldn't catch his breath," she said. "I had to climb over the front seat and sit with him. And he hugged me like he was a little kid."
Donna Scoville, a neighbor who drove the mother and son back from New Hampshire, said she turned to Alex Dion and said, "I'm sorry." Scoville said his response to her was: "I don't want you to be sorry for me. Be sorry for that baby's mother."