Cops: Body at home of woman who claimed baby buy

July 18, 2008 6:32:32 PM PDT
A body with its hands bound was found Friday at the apartment of a woman who showed up at a hospital with a newborn she falsely claimed was her child but later said she had obtained for $1,000, authorities said. The body was found in the home of 38-year-old Andrea Curry-Demus, police said. Authorities would not say whether it was male or female.

Wilkinsburg Police Chief Ophelia Coleman said the body was found lying face down. She said she didn't know how long it had been there. Investigators said police checked on Curry-Demus' apartment after reporters called authorities about a foul odor coming from inside.

Police visited the building Thursday night but did not go into that apartment, Coleman said. Instead, a relative of Curry-Demus led them to another apartment, she said.

Earlier Friday, police said they were concerned that the infant's real mother - described as a thin, black female in her 20s or 30s named Tina - might be in danger, or need medical attention. The description was provided by Curry-Demus but authorities aren't sure how reliable it is because she "has a history of emotional problems," Coleman said earlier Friday.

Curry-Demus pleaded guilty in 1991 to aggravated assault after stabbing a Wilkinsburg woman in an alleged plot to steal the woman's infant. Curry-Demus, then known as Andrea Curry, was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

Allegheny County homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. Assistant Superintendent James Morton said police were waiting for a search warrant before going into the apartment Friday night.

"There might be evidence there we need to use in court, so it's better to use a search warrant," Morton said.

The mystery started when Curry-Demus showed up at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh on Thursday with a newborn baby that still had its umbilical cord attached, police said. Tests later proved she was not the mother - despite her claims to the contrary, police said.

"I didn't do nothing," Curry-Demus told reporters as she was put into a police car Thursday.

Curry-Demus was initially charged Friday with one count of child endangerment. She was later charged with dealing in infant children, a misdemeanor, according to court records. She has been jailed until she posts $10,000 bond and undergoes a psychiatric exam.

Court records did not indicate she had obtained an attorney. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Curry-Demus told police she miscarried in June and didn't want to upset her mother by telling her she had lost the baby. Curry-Demus said she befriended a pregnant woman and discussed buying her child when it was born, according to the criminal complaint.

Curry-Demus told police she paid a woman named Tina $1,000 for the baby, but authorities have said they don't know how she got the baby.