This disturbing tale of murder and baby snatching began with a lie, as many sordid stories do.
Laura Abarca-Nogueda’s boyfriend came home to a horrible scene on November 17. Laura had been shot and killed, and lay dead in her Wichita apartment. Their 6-day-old baby Sophia was gone. The FBI quickly got on the case and was able to find Sophia, unharmed, and reunite the infant with her family a few days later.
It’s hard to make sense of such a terrible crime, but it seemingly began when 34-year-old Yesenia Sesmas told a fib. Yesenia and Laura were had known one another for quite some time, but it’s unclear if you could have called them friends. Yet, while Laura was actually pregnant, Yesenia was pretending to be. The problem with faking a pregnancy is that it doesn’t end with a baby. It ends with everyone around you saying, ‘well, what the hell, Yesenia?’ She couldn’t have that, and so she is accused of conspiring to murder Laura and steal her baby.
Yesenia had lived in Kansas once, but had since relocated to Texas. She is accusing of returning to Kansas specifically to steal Laura’s baby. After she allegedly killed Laura and kidnapped Sophia, she went back to Texas where she told everyone that the baby was her own.
From jail, Yesenia tried to say this was all a big misunderstanding. She said that Laura had promised to give her the baby, but that she ultimately changed her mind. Yesenia claims that she only showed up with the gun to threaten Laura into giving up the child, as promised, but that the gun discharged, killing Laura, on accident. Sure, Yesenia. Who wouldn’t believe someone who faked a pregnancy for months? We’re sure a jury will eat that steaming pile of shit up with a spoon.
But, wait, there’s more! Another woman, Adriana Portillo, came forward and described an encounter she claims she had with Yesenia in Kansas. She said that back in July, Yesenia invited her to her home, saying she was trying to get rid of some clothes and a television, which she had stored in the basement. But Amanda, who was pregnant at the time, never knew her as Yesenia. She knew her by the name Patricia Hernandez. (There’s some indication that Yesenia may not have been in the U.S. legally.) Amanda went, bringing along her two daughters, ages 3 and 10. Adriana said that Yesenia took her phone, then pulled out a knife and demanded she bind her own children with duct tape. She said that she would release the children if Amanda’s husband would pay a ransom of $10,000. Amanda was not interested in that malarkey, despite Yesenia’s claims that she was not working alone. The two fought and as Amanda kept Yesenia away from her daughters, the eldest grabbed her mother’s phone and called police. The struggle continued outside as the family tried to flee, and Yesenia was arrested. Amanda was flabbergasted that Yesenia wasn’t in jail at the time of the murders, and stated that Yesenia’s obsession with having a daughter was clear to her even back then. Yesenia, for whatever reason, was unable to get pregnant herself and had convinced herself that the right thing to do was to kidnap another woman’s child.