Body at home of woman who claimed baby buy

July 19, 2008 1:07:09 PM PDT
Police said Friday they found the body of a woman with her hands bound in the apartment of another woman who showed up at a hospital with a newborn she falsely claimed as her own. The body was found Friday night in the bedroom of 38-year-old Andrea Curry-Demus, Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said. He said the woman had been dead about 24 hours, but that he couldn't tell if she had recently given birth.

Some blood was found near the body, Williams said, but he would not say if there were signs of trauma.

Investigators found the body hours after Curry-Demus was charged with one count of child endangerment and one count of dealing in infant children, a misdemeanor, according to court records. She has been jailed until she posts $10,000 bond and undergoes a psychiatric exam.

According to police, Curry-Demus showed up at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh on Thursday with a newborn baby that still had its umbilical cord attached. Tests later proved she was not the mother - despite her claims to the contrary, police said.

When questioned, Curry-Demus said she had miscarried in June and didn't want to upset her mother by telling her she had lost the baby. Curry-Demus said she befriended a pregnant woman and discussed buying her child when it was born, according to the criminal complaint charging her.

Curry-Demus told police she paid a woman named Tina $1,000 for the baby, but authorities have said they don't know how she got the baby.

"I didn't do nothing," Curry-Demus told reporters as she was put into a police car Thursday.

Court records did not indicate she had obtained an attorney. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Police visited Curry Demus' apartment building on Thursday but did not go into her apartment, Coleman said. Instead, one of the woman's relatives led them to another apartment, she said.

Investigators checked on Curry-Demus' apartment again on Friday after reporters reported a foul odor coming from inside, police said.

Earlier Friday, police said they were concerned that the infant's real mother - described as a thin, black female in her 20s or 30s named Tina - might be in danger, or need medical attention.

The description was provided by Curry-Demus but authorities weren't sure how reliable it was because she "has a history of emotional problems," Coleman said earlier Friday. The dead woman was black, but Williams said he couldn't tell how old she was.

Curry-Demus pleaded guilty in 1991 to aggravated assault after stabbing a Wilkinsburg woman in an alleged plot to steal the woman's infant. Curry-Demus, then known as Andrea Curry, was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

Allegheny County homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. Assistant Superintendent James Morton said police were waiting for a search warrant before going into the apartment Friday night.

"There might be evidence there we need to use in court, so it's better to use a search warrant," Morton said.

A relative and a neighbor of Curry-Demus both said they had attended a baby shower for her last month.

Stephanie Epps, 41, the suspect's sister-in-law, said she had doubted the pregnancy.

"I just had a feeling that she wasn't pregnant," Epps said. "She would never let you touch her stomach and pregnant women let you do that. ... I liked her and I still do like her."

Ivee Blunt, a neighbor who also was at the shower, said Curry-Demus wanted her in the delivery room when she gave birth.

Blunt said Curry-Demus told her on Sunday night that she expected to have the baby the next day; but on Monday, she said, Curry-Demus told her she wasn't ready to give birth.


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