A pregnant woman held for five days at an apartment by a woman she met at a homeless shelter escaped after her captor tried to cut the unborn baby from her womb, police said Tuesday.
The victim, who was homeless, was expected to recover and her daughter was delivered by emergency Cesarean section, police said.
Veronica Deramous, 40, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, false imprisonment and other related charges, said Officer Michelle Reedy, a county police spokeswoman.
Authorities said Deramous befriended Teka Adams at a homeless shelter and persuaded her to come to her apartment on Dec. 1 with a promise of baby clothes.
Once there, Reedy said, Deramous attacked and bound the 29-year-old woman, who was in her third trimester. Days later, the woman escaped after Deramous tried to cut the unborn baby from her body, Reedy said.
"She bound the victim's hands and proceeded to try to cut the victim's abdomen to try to get the baby out," she said.
Intestines, placenta exposed
Police said Deramous had told relatives and her boyfriend that she was pregnant even though she was not.
When police found Adams her "abdomen was cut and her intestines, stomach and placenta were exposed," according to a police report. In the apartment, officers found bloody towels and a bowl with water and washcloths on a bedroom floor. They also found a box cutter and some razor blades, which they believe Deramous used to cut Adams, Reedy said.
According to the police report, Deramous had her 17-year-old son hold Adams' hands behind her back as she bound her with duct tape and then held her in a bedroom. Her son has not been charged.
On Saturday, Deramous told Adams: "You're strong, you can handle what I'm going to do to you," the report said. She then turned up the volume of the TV in the bedroom, gagged Adams and began to cut her abdomen open. Adams moaned in pain and Deramous stopped, police said.
While Deramous slept early Sunday, the woman managed to free herself and flee the apartment, Reedy said. A neighbor called police, who found the woman bleeding in the apartment complex parking lot.
Deramous and her son then left before police arrived.
Girl named Miracle Sky
Authorities received a tip that Deramous was in Virginia's Arlington County, where she was arrested. She remained in Virginia on Tuesday while she awaits being transported to her home state of Maryland to face the charges.
A nun who answered the phone at the Queen of Peace, Missionaries of Charity shelter for pregnant women in southeast Washington told The Associated Press the victim had stayed there for at least one month and left the shelter last week, but did not know Deramous.
The baby girl was named Miracle Sky. The county Department of Social Services said it is accepting donations on behalf of the family, including clothing and money, after receiving several calls on Tuesday from those wanting to help.