R A V E N N A, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000 -- After being removed from his slain mother’s womb by another woman, who then passed the child off as her own until committing suicide as police closed in, baby Oscar will go home with his grieving father Thursday.
The infant was in the temporary custody of the Portage County Department of Human Services. DNA tests were conducted to verify paternity.
The case was uncovered Tuesday when police arrived at Michelle Bica’s home to question her about the week-old disappearance of Theresa Andrews, who lived four blocks away. Before police could reach her, Bica shot herself.
The 8-pound, 6-ounce baby boy, named Oscar, was found in her home. The body of Mrs. Andrews, 23, was found buried in Bica’s dirt-floor garage.
Coroner Roger Marcial said Andrews was shot once in the back and most likely died instantly. The .22-caliber bullet matched ammunition in the gun Bica used to kill herself.
Marcial said the straight cut of the crude Caesarean section on Mrs. Andrews led him to conclude that the baby was removed after the shooting.
Mrs. Andrews’ due date was today.
Baby Doing WellThe baby was listed in good condition today at Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Andrews’ husband, Jon, was awaiting DNA tests to confirm that the healthy infant is his son. The results of those tests are expected Friday, said Andrews’ attorney, Nicholas Phillips.
“He’s a long way from facing reality,” Phillips said of his client. “It’s such a difficult, unique situation where you’re enjoying your newborn son and mourning the loss of your wife.”
Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said the baby probably was delivered Sept. 27, the day Mrs. Andrews disappeared in Ravenna, a city of about 12,000, some 30 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Woman Had Lied About Pregnancy Bica, who had led neighbors to believe she had just had a baby, had not been pregnant recently, Marcial said.
It was possible Bica could have convinced others she was pregnant because she was obese, he added.
On the day she disappeared, Mrs. Andrews had paged her husband at work and said a woman had called inquiring about a 1999 Jeep Wrangler they were trying to sell.
Andrews, a sheet-metal worker, told police that when he got home at 4:30 p.m., the door was open, the vehicle gone and his wife missing. Police found the vehicle about a block away and later found the Jeep keys in Bica’s purse.
There was no indication whether the women had known each other. A series of cellular phone calls to the Andrews’ house led police to Bica.
On Monday, officers questioned Bica about the Sept. 27 calls. When police returned that night, they heard a gunshot and found her body in an upstairs bedroom.
Her husband, Thomas Bica, 41, a county corrections officer, was questioned and released. He met his wife in 1994 while she served a jail sentence for receiving stolen property, Vigluicci said.