Police in the US State of Pennsylvania said yesterday’s attack on Valerie Oskin was stopped before her baby was taken after a teenage boy came across the women in the woods.
Oskin, 30, later underwent an emergency Caesarean section at a hospital.
She was reported to be in a critical condition and her baby in a stable condition.
She was believed to have been in her third trimester of pregnancy, authorities said.
Peggy Jo Conner, 38, of Ford City, Pennsylvania, has been arraigned on charges of attempted homicide and aggravated assault and was jailed without bail.
Conner had told her live-in partner before the attack that she was pregnant, and investigators found baby-related items in her trailer, Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.
“Clearly, she was expecting a child coming in shortly,” Andreassi said. “There’s nothing to indicate she was pregnant.”
The assault began Thursday morning, when Conner hit Oskin several times with a bat, Andreassi said.
Conner then put Oskin and Oskin’s seven-year-old son in her car, dropped the boy off at a family member’s house and drove the pregnant woman about 24 kilometres to a secluded area, some 80 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh, Andreassi said.
There, Conner cut Oskin across her abdomen with a razor knife, authorities said.
“She was sliced over an old (Caesarean) scar and severely bleeding,” Trooper Jonathan Bayer said.
A 17-year-old boy spotted Conner kneeling next to the pregnant woman on the ground, Bayer said.
The boy went home and told his father, who called authorities, who arrested Conner at the scene.
The pregnant woman “probably would have bled to death if this young boy had not discovered her when he did”, Bayer said.
Last December, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, was strangled at her Missouri home, and her baby was cut from her womb.
Prosecutors said Lisa Montgomery showed the baby off as her own before her arrest. She is awaiting trial.