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Suspect Wanted A Baby Desperately, Acquaintances Say

Montgomery faced requests from her first husband to move their children to his home in Oklahoma, according to legal documents. Ten days before Stinnett was killed, Boman had filed a formal application in Osage County, Kan., seeking legal custody of the two middle children, saying they wanted to live with him. The application said the oldest child will be 18 in January, and could decide on her own where to live, and the youngest had not expressed a clear desire to live with either parent.

By the time Montgomery learned of that legal filing, though, she had already been making plans to take Stinnett's baby, prosecutors say.

Zeb Stinnett, background center, watches as pallbearers carry the casket of his wife and high school sweetheart to her burial site in Skidmore, Mo. (Jessica A. Stewart -- St. Joseph News-press Via AP)

According to the Associated Press, Montgomery has been unable to have a baby since having her tubes tied in 1990 after delivering a baby girl.

"She never was pregnant," Boman told a television station in Kansas City, Mo. "Anything they're buying about a lost baby, a miscarriage, all of it's a lie."

Montgomery and Stinnett were both active participants in the business of breeding and showing rat terriers. A photograph on the Happy Haven Rat Terriers Web site, operated by the Stinnetts, showed Montgomery and Stinnett posing together with other rat-terrier fanciers at a dog show in April.

The two women had been communicating regularly through "Ratter Chatter." Court records suggest that tracing this message traffic led the FBI to Montgomery within hours after Stinnett's mutilated body was found.

Knowing that Stinnett was soon to give birth, prosecutors charge, Montgomery contacted her using a false name and arranged a meeting, purportedly to purchase a terrier. Witnesses saw Montgomery's red Toyota in the Stinnetts' driveway in Missouri last Thursday.

The victim's mother, Becky Harper, told reporters that she had been talking to her daughter on the telephone Thursday morning. Stinnett ended the call, saying she had to attend to a potential buyer of a terrier.

Medical experts have expressed relief and amazement that the premature infant could survive being cut from her mother's abdomen. There was some fear that the child could have suffered brain damage, unless she was taken from the womb within minutes of her mother's death.

The Montgomerys' neighbors in this hamlet of 430 people say the baby appeared small but healthy last Friday when the couple took her around town to show their friends the new arrival.

In addition to their visit to the Whistle Stop, the couple also visited their pastor at the First Church of God.

On Saturday, after Lisa Montgomery was charged, Osage County Judge Phillip Fromme granted her first husband, Boman, temporary custody of their four children, who had been living with her in Melvern.

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