A grotesque crime in which a pregnant woman was murdered and her fetus snatched and adopted by another has been solved quickly, thanks to the enormous amount of electronic evidence the murderer left behind.
Lisa Montgomery, 36, of Melvern, Kansas arranged the fatal meeting with her victim, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, via e-mail and instant messaging.
The late Stinnett was a dog breeder, and Montgomery approached her on line with the pretext of wishing to buy a puppy. Stinnett invited Montgomery to her Skidmore, Missouri house, where Montgomery strangled her, performed an impromptu Caesarian, and stole the fetus.
After murdering Stinnett and stealing her fetus, Montgomery drove to Topeka, Kansas and rang her husband, telling him that she'd given birth. Why the husband was not suspicious has not been explained.
Montgomery was apparently none too savvy about the techniques of covering one's tracks online, and leaked prodigious amounts of data. While she did have the foresight to use an alias for her emails to Stinnett, she connected from her house without any precautions, and appears to have posted a message to Stinnett on a board where her IP address was logged. Stinnett's computer provided enough evidence for police to zero in on Montgomery within a day.
It was trivial to trace Montgomery's IP address to her house, where police found the stolen infant, pretty much blowing any non-insanity defence Montgomery might have hoped to mount.
The premature infant, named Victoria, is reported to be healthy and has since been re-united with her father. ®