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 CountyDepartment of Human Services. DNA tests were conducted to verifypaternity.
The case was uncovered Tuesday when police arrived at MichelleBica’s home to question her about the week-old disappearance ofTheresa Andrews, who lived four blocks away. Before police couldreach her, Bica shot herself.
The 8-pound, 6-ounce baby boy, named Oscar, was found in herhome. The body of Mrs. Andrews, 23, was found buried in Bica’sdirt-floor garage.
Coroner Roger Marcial said Andrews was shot once in the back and mostlikely died instantly. The .22-caliber bullet matched ammunition inthe gun Bica used to kill herself.
Marcial said the straight cut of the crude Caesarean section onMrs. Andrews led him to conclude that the baby was removed afterthe shooting.
Mrs. Andrews’ due date was today.
Baby Doing WellThe baby was listed in good condition today at RobinsonMemorial Hospital.
Andrews’ husband, Jon, was awaiting DNA tests to confirm thatthe 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 hisclient. “It’s such a difficult, unique situation where you’reenjoying your newborn son and mourning the loss of your wife.”
Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said the baby probably was deliveredSept. 27, the day Mrs. Andrews disappeared in Ravenna, a city ofabout 12,000, some 30 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Woman Had Lied About PregnancyBica, 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 waspregnant because she was obese, he added.
On the day she disappeared, Mrs. Andrews had paged her husbandat work and said a woman had called inquiring about a 1999 JeepWrangler they were trying to sell.
Andrews, a sheet-metal worker, told police that when he got homeat 4:30 p.m., the door was open, the vehicle gone and his wifemissing. Police found the vehicle about a block away and laterfound 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 policeto Bica.
On Monday, officers questioned Bica about the Sept. 27 calls.When police returned that night, they heard a gunshot and found herbody in an upstairs bedroom.
Her husband, Thomas Bica, 41, a county corrections officer, wasquestioned and released. He met his wife in 1994 while she served ajail sentence for receiving stolen property, Vigluicci said.