Suspect arrested in the abduction of baby Sophia

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police released new information in the abduction of baby Sophia and the killing of her mother, 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda.

On early Saturday morning around 4:15 a.m., the Dallas Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit and SWAT team executed a search warrant and found baby Sophia safe at a home in the 900 block of South Signet in Dallas. She was transported to the hospital to be checked.

This photo provided by the Wichita Police shows Sophia Victoria Gonzalez Abarca. (Wichita Police)
This photo provided by the Wichita Police shows Sophia Victoria Gonzalez Abarca. (Wichita Police)

A suspect, 34-year-old Yesenia Sesmas, was arrested according to Wichita police. Three other people in the home were also transported to the Dallas Police Department to be questioned.

“Detectives learned that Sesmas had faked a pregnancy over the last several months and traveled to Wichita, Kansas were she committed the murder and the kidnapping of Sophia. She returned to Dallas, Texas with Sophia,” said Detective Todd Ojile, Wichita Police Department. “As of right now, we believe the suspect and victim knew each other for a few years.”

Late Saturday, Sesmas was booked into the Dallas County Jail on an outstanding felony warrant in Sedgwick County with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges.

KSN asked a psychologist about a child abduction, and what is in the mind of a potential suspect in a case like that of Sophia Abarca.

“It’s not unprecedented, unfortunately,” says WSU Professor of Psychology, Robert Zettle. “I don’t know a great deal about this particular case… but you can generalize about what we know about similar cases. These incidents are usually well planned. The perpetrator knows that the woman being victimized is pregnant or is about due to give birth. And, so, this unfolds over some period of time. It’s usually well planned well orchestrated.  This is not sort of a crime of impulse. And, so, it does suggest that it requires a great deal of planning and effort on the part of the perpetrator.”

Zettle says the justice system will have to play out in this case to see if Sesman could eventually be found guilty.

Investigators returned to Wichita Saturday with baby Sophia. She was reunited with her family.

The case is now presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office for charges and extradition to Kansas.

District Attorney Marc Bennett issued the folowing statement;

This afternoon, the Wichita Police Department presented the Office of the District Attorney the case involving the individual alleged to have been responsible for the death of Laura Abarca, November 17, 2016.   A final charging determination will be announced tomorrow morning.  Note that all persons accused of any crime retain the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”   

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