LONG BEACH, Calif. » A California woman staged a sinister plot to snatch two babies from their mothers and pass them off as her own — a scheme that ended with the murder of a 3-week-old girl and the shooting and beating of both childrens’ mothers, police said Wednesday.
Giseleangelique Rene D’Milian, 47, of Thousand Oaks followed a young mother she saw boarding a bus in Long Beach with the baby girl and later tried to have an acquaintance killed in a botched attempt to steal her son, authorities said.
D’Milian and Anthony McCall, 29, of Oceanside, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy. They were being held without bail. Todd Boudreaux, 44, of Fontana and Charisse Shelton, 30, of Corona were arrested on suspicion of being accessories after the fact.
The suspects were expected to make their first court appearance Friday. It wasn’t clear whether they had retained attorneys yet or would request a public defender.
"In my notes, I had the word ‘evil’ several times, and my staff told me to take it out but I can’t summarize it any other way," Police Chief Robert Luna said at an afternoon news conference.
"We intend to get a full prosecution and I hope that they .get hammered for this," he said. "This is just unbelievable."
The plot began when D’Milian falsely told her married boyfriend that she had given birth to his twins last December while she was out of the country, Luna said.
"In order to continue with this deception, she needed to produce two children who matched the ages of her fabricated twins," the chief said.
The first effort on Jan. 3 had D’Milian and McCall using separate cars to follow the mother of a young girl who boarded a public bus in Long Beach, Luna said.
When the woman got off the bus and began to walk home, D’Milian stopped her Range Rover and briefly talked to the woman about her child, Luna said.
Less than two hours later, McCall snatched little Eliza Delacruz from her home, shooting and seriously wounding her parents and uncle, Luna said.
The next day, the baby was found dead in a dumpster in Imperial Beach, a city near the Mexican border and about 100 miles south of the girl’s home.
"The reason baby Eliza was killed remains unknown," Luna said. He didn’t release the cause of her death.
The next month, D’Milian arranged to find another baby by claiming she had a charitable organization that wanted to help young mothers and contacting her friends and acquaintances, El Segundo Police Chief Mitch Tavera said.
She targeted an acquaintance who had a 4-month-old boy, arranging for McCall to kill the woman and take the child from an El Segundo hotel, Tavera said.
McCall allegedly badly beat the woman with a baseball bat, but fled without the baby after hotel workers knocked on the door and the woman yelled for help, the El Segundo police chief said.
"She was starting over. This was a new kidnap attempt for them," said Long Beach Lt. Lloyd Cox said of D’Milian.
Long Beach police were aware of the El Segundo case. But the case came together in the last week after police released sketches of two suspects and details about a black Range Rover following Eliza’s mother.
Witnesses who contacted police gave investigators names that matched the suspects that El Segundo police were investigating in their case and provided the location of the SUV.
Investigators are seeking other women with babies between one and two months of age who may have been contacted by text message about D’Milian’s fake charity, Luna said.