Associated Press
Posted on Fri, Dec. 17, 2004  (must register to view original article)

Amber Alert issued after fetus taken from slain woman's body

Associated Press

SKIDMORE, Mo. - Police were trying to find an infant they believe could still be alive after being cut from the womb of its mother, slain in her northwest Missouri home Thursday afternoon.

The Nodaway County Sheriff's Department issued an Amber Alert about 12:30 a.m. for the child, believed to be female. The alert said police were looking for a suspect who may have blond hair who possibly was driving a red vehicle. The sheriff's department said officials did not know if the person they were looking for was a man or woman.

"I believe there is a live 8-month-old fetus out there we need to find," Sheriff Bill Espey said.

The child's mother, Bobbi Jo Stinnett, 23, was eight months pregnant. Her mother found her inside her home and called police at 3:38 p.m. Paramedics tried to revive the young woman, who was pronounced dead later at St. Francis Hospital in Maryville.

"Someone was wanting a baby awful bad," Espey said.

The Missouri Major Case Squad, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and an investigation team from neighboring Buchanan County were assisting Nodaway County officials in the investigation.

An autopsy was to be conducted in Kansas City by the Jackson County medical examiner.

"We're looking into strangulation," the sheriff said. "We know she was alive in the afternoon, within an hour of being found."

Espey said there were no visible signs of struggle on the victim's body, and no indication of forced entry into her small white home in this small community of about 500, located north of St. Joseph in the extreme northwest corner of Missouri.

The sheriff said Stinnett worked at Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing in Maryville, was married little more than a year and had been expecting her first child.

A neighbor, Bill Dragoo, said she raised rat terrier dogs.

Two rat terrier Web sites carry the name of Zeb and Bobbie Stinnett and a listing at the couple's West Elm Street address is under Zeb's name.

The sheriff said the couple had no known enemies and were well-liked in the neighborhood.

"They stayed to themselves," said Dragoo. "They didn't bother anybody. It blows my mind that this happened. She was such a shy person. They didn't deserve this."