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Charges filed in baby kidnapping

Abby Woods was reunited Tuesday night with her mother, Stephanie Oschenbine, and her father, James Woods. (family photo)


Union, MO – The woman who allegedly stole a baby after slashing the throat of a young mother was charged Wednesday with kidnapping, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. Franklin County prosecutor Robert Parks filed the charges against the woman authorities previously identified as Shannon Beck. Court documents name her as Shannon Torrez, 36, of Lonedell, but note that she is also known as Shannon Beck.

The suspect is being held on $1 million bond. Investigators said Shannon Torrez, who recently had a miscarriage, was arrested yesterday after her sister-in-law contacted authorities. Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke says investigators were looking into whether Shannon Torrez might have hidden her own dead child.

(Our earlier story)

Police in Franklin County have found a newborn baby that was abducted last week after the baby's mother was stabbed.

The mother of the child, Stephanie Oschenbine, survived the attack and has been re-united with her 11-day old daughter, Abby Woods. Abby is described as being in excellent condition.

Police say Oschenbine let the suspect last Friday to use the phone. That's when the suspect stabbed the mother and took the baby.

The FBI says Shannon Beck is responsible. Beck lives just a few miles away and claims she had a miscarriage on Friday but instead told family she had given birth.

The FBI says Beck's sister in law noticed make-up on the baby's forehead which covered a well-publicized birthmark. Beck then reportedly surrendered the baby when the sister-in-law confronted her.

Police say Beck likely knew a newborn baby was in Oschenbine's home because of a congratulatory announcement that was posted in the front lawn.

"The family is elated and thankful to everyone in the community who prayed for them," said Dr. Peter McCarthy, an emergency room physician at St. John's Hospital in Washington, Mo. "The baby was hydrated, nourished and in good condition when she arrived at the hospital."

"She's the hero," Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said of Dorothy Torrez, the sister-in-law who contacted authorities. "She's the one that made it happen."

"An outstanding ending, obviously," Toelke added.

Toelke said the county prosecutor would address criminal charges today (Wednesday).

Police had received more than 500 leads in the investigation. On Tuesday, they gave the baby's father, James Woods, a polygraph test, which he passed.


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