Warren police had one man in custody Saturday and were searching for a second suspect in connection with the abduction of a 22-year-old pregnant woman who was shot, set on fire and left to die.
The man in custody is a 22-year-old Warren resident who is the victim’s former boyfriend and father of her child, according to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green. He said the woman, who is due to give birth in three weeks, is hospitalized but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
“Although we’re told he saw her being abducted, the ex-boyfriend didn’t help her, he never called 911, he said he went to bed and went to sleep,” Green said. “So we have one in custody and obviously we’re still looking for a second man.”
Police suspect a possible motive in the incident is the suspect not wanting to father another child. He has at least one child with another woman, who he lives with on Sherman Avenue.
Investigators said the victim and her ex-boyfriend had drifted apart. However, he began calling her in February and the two began talking again. They agreed to go to a movie Friday night in Dearborn.
After the movie, the victim was driving him back to his place on the 85000 block of Sherman Avenue, where he lives with his new girlfriend and her mother. The two, riding in the victim’s Saturn Vue, pulled up into the garage about 1 a.m. Saturday and both exited the vehicle.
When the woman got out of the car, she was attacked from behind by a man who put a gun to the back of her head and duct taped her mouth, feet and hands, Green said. She was forced back into her vehicle and driven to a field in the area of Interstate 94 and Interstate 75 where they stopped. At some point, the attacker asked how far along her pregnancy was, and said “You know why this is happening,” Green said.
“The gunman gets out, opens the door and sprays lighter fluid on her,” Green said. “He then lit a match and threw it on her, and she caught on fire. She rolls out of the car and onto the ground and heard two gunshots. One of them hit her and she played dead until the guy left.”
Once the attacker was gone, the woman was able to wiggle free from her restraints and crawled back into her car. She drove to her mother’s house in Detroit, and from there her mother took her to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. She was later transferred to Detroit Receiving Hospital where she is listed in serious condition.
Police said the woman weighs in excess of 200 pounds due to her pregnancy and the extra weight absorbed the impact of the gunshot wound to her back. An ultrasound showed the baby is fine. The woman’s hair, face and backed were burned but not severely, Green said.
Police were notified of the incident about 3 a.m. Saturday and began their investigation. They found the woman’s cell phone in a field near I-94 in Detroit and were searching for additional physical evidence at the scene.
The ex-boyfriend, who has past felony convictions including one for armed robbery, agreed to be interviewed and was taken into custody after making incriminating statements, Green said.
Green said police were still looking for the attacker on Saturday, described only as a tall black man. Police do not know what the connection is between the ex-boyfriend and the attacker.