Mexican teenager Guadalupe Salinas Hernandez has confessed to murdering a pregnant woman and removing the woman's unborn child to claim it as her own, the New York Daily News reported Monday.
The victim, 20-year-old Nathaly Cartas Leon, was eight months pregnant when she responded to Hernandez' Facebook post, in which Hernandez offered some of the nursery items Leon wanted for her baby.
When Leon traveled to Hernandez' home in the north-eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, however, she was struck with a blunt object and stabbed, the Daily News reported.
Leon was reported missing, but police only solved the case when Hernandez showed up at a hospital days later, carrying a dead baby that she claimed had been stillborn — but which doctors quickly realized did not belong to her at all.
Hernandez later confessed to cutting the unborn child out of its mother's womb, the Daily News reported.
Hernandez had either miscarried or had an abortion earlier this year — different outlets report different stories about how Hernandez' pregnancy ended — and her sense of loss may have driven her to commit the crime.
As a 2004 National Institutes of Health study found, emotions of loss and grief are strong in women who have miscarried; feelings of guilt, relief and shame are strong in post-abortion women.
In either case, the study found, painful feelings surrounding the end of a pregnancy can persist — and in Hernandez' case, it seems, lead to grotesquely sad violence.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter