No murder charge in case of baby cut from womb, lawmaker calls death ‘act of God’

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(CNN) — A former nurse’s aide will not face murder charges for allegedly cutting and removing an unborn baby from the mother’s womb, Boulder County, Colorado, prosecutor Stanley Garnett said Thursday.

The mother, Michelle Wilkins, answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes on March 18.

*Click the above video player to learn about a Colorado lawmaker calling the baby’s death an ‘act of God’

When she arrived at the purported seller’s home in Longmont, she was attacked, beaten, cut open and her fetus was removed. The baby did not survive.

Wilkins was treated at a hospital and later released.

The alleged attacker, Dynel Lane, 34, has been held on $2 million bond.

*Click here for coverage from our sister station KDVR

Viable life

After the attack, prosecutors said it may be hard to muster a murder charge. Colorado state law does not recognize a fetus as a person, unless it is capable of surviving for a period of time outside the womb, a prosecutor said then.

But the extent of the period that the fetus must survive in order to be defined as a baby is not legally clear.

Lane’s husband, David Ridley, told police he found the baby on the day of the attack in a bathtub taking a breath.

Victim’s strength

While the attack on Wilkins has shocked her community for its brutality, many have also remarked on the 26-year-old’s strength.

Bleeding and stunned in a stranger’s basement, Wilkins managed to lock herself in a room to prevent any further violence, called 911 and did what she could to stem the bleeding.

Police officers Billy Sawyer and Phil Piotrowski, who responded to the call, told CNN affiliate KDVR they weren’t prepared for the grisly scene.

“She was covered from head to toe in blood,” Sawyer said.

Piotrowski told the station that Wilkins “saved her own life,” describing her as ” probably one of the strongest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.”

Wilkins’ family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her care. A note on the page said that she’s “in a safe location” and “surrounded by family and friends.”

More than $73,000 of the $75,000 goal have been raised so far.

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