Teka's story: Part 1

Teka Adams: A pregnant woman is taken captive by a stranger who wants her baby

On Dec. 2, Teka Adams, homeless in the District and nine months pregnant, climbed into a woman's car. Adams believed the woman was taking her to a storage facility in Maryland to pick up donated baby items. Instead, the woman allegedly detoured to her Suitland apartment, attacked her with a box cutter and held Adams captive in an attempt to steal her unborn baby.
By Liza Mundy and Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is the first of two parts. For part 2 click here.

The bedroom was modest and unadorned. The carpet was the neutral tan common to apartments. Arranged against the walls, in no apparent order, were an ironing board, a smallish dresser with paperwork on it and a television on a stand, with a stack of DVDs underneath. In the middle of the floor was a futon mattress -- bare, no frame, just a pad -- on which Teka Adams lay. There was no other furniture, unless you counted a glass bowl that she had been given to use as a chamber pot.

During the past three days, Teka had had plenty of time to study these surroundings. She had been lying on the mattress since Wednesday, Dec. 2, and today was Saturday, Dec. 5. The blinds were drawn, so it was hard to know the time exactly, but Teka figured it was close to midday. Her hands were bound with duct tape, and there was a days-old wound on her side with two ribbons of coagulated blood where the woman holding her captive had sliced her with a box cutter. Teka was nine months pregnant. Her due date was tomorrow.

From where she lay, Teka could see the doorway that led to the rest of the apartment. Her captor was on the other side. The woman -- sturdily built, about 5-foot-4 and maybe 10 years older -- never left Teka alone for long. She had not left the apartment or even showered, presumably afraid Teka would try to escape. At night, she slept on the floor near Teka, who had come to know her breathing. In a way, she knew her captor's behavior as well as she knew the dresser and the television and the carpet.

But why the woman was holding Teka -- what she wanted or intended to do with her -- was a mystery.

(Photos of Teka Adams and her captivity)

Why do you still have me here? Teka would ask her sometimes. Why don't you just drop me in front of a hospital, push me out of the car and pull off? The woman wouldn't explain but often would begin to pace nervously.

Now she was in the bedroom, talking to Teka.

What I'm getting ready to do to you is not going to kill you, the woman said.

She brought in a bowl of water and ice cubes, which she set at the end of the mattress by Teka's feet, and towels. She got on her knees and tied a do-rag around Teka's wrists. She stuffed a cloth in Teka's mouth, told her to bite down on it if she needed to and secured it by winding duct tape around Teka's head.

At one point, the woman inserted a DVD of Michael Jackson's "This Is It" -- a bootleg copy, presumably, because the film had not been officially released on DVD. Teka listened to a series of dancers talk about how happy they were to be auditioning for Jackson's tour.

The woman had also brought an array of box cutters and knives. She's going to torture me, Teka thought with rising horror. But it wasn't Teka the woman was after. It was her unborn baby. Unable to scream because of the gag, Teka watched in agony as the woman selected an instrument, made an incision in her belly and started cutting.

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