A Santa Ana woman who lied to her family about giving birth allegedly tried to kidnap a newborn baby and kill the child's mother, but was foiled when the mother managed to bite off part of her assailant's finger and alert family members, police said.
Gabriela Osorio, 28, of Santa Ana was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and attempted kidnapping Friday afternoon shortly after she fled the victim's house with the baby, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.
The baby was not hurt. The mother was treated for stab wounds but has been released from the hospital and is at home with her child, police said.
Bertagna said the story began in 2009 when Osorio believed she was pregnant and was showered with attention from her boyfriend and family. She later discovered she was not pregnant, but did not tell her loved ones, Bertagna said.
Instead, she allegedly hatched a plot to steal someone else's baby.
"On March 3 she tells everyone that she gave birth, but the baby needed to stay in the hospital because of medical issues," Bertagna said. "That's when things started to get desperate."
Police say Osorio told them that she began visiting medical clinics around Santa Ana looking for women who had recently given birth and who matched her physical characteristics. She allegedly met and befriended the victim, a 26-year-old Santa Ana woman, at a clinic a week before the attack, Bertagna said.
On Friday, Osorio allegedly showed up uninvited at the victim's house in the 2000 block of North Fairview Street, Bertagna said. She told investigators that she intended to take the baby and flee, he said.
"Her plan was to grab the kid when the mother wasn't looking," Bertagna said. "But she never got that chance."
After failing to sneak the baby away, Osorio allegedly grabbed a plastic bag and tried to suffocate the mother. At some point during the struggle, she also grabbed a knife and stabbed the woman three times, Bertagna said. It's unclear if she brought the knife or grabbed one from inside the house, he said.
The wounded mother bit off the tip of Osorio's ring finger and ran outside, screaming for help.
Osorio "then fled the residence with the baby in her arms. Relatives convinced the woman to turn over the baby to them, prior to the arrival of the police," according to a police statement.
Police apprehended Osorio near the house a short time later.
Along with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping, Osorio was charged on suspicion of burglary and assault.