Sept. 18, 2006, 10:01AM
Mom of snatched baby helps with sketch
By JEFF DOUGLAS Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press
ST. CLAIR, Mo. — The mother of a kidnapped infant helped authorities prepare a composite sketch of the woman who she said slashed her throat and took her baby three days ago.
Stephanie Ochsenbine, 21, was released from St. John's Mercy Medical Center in suburban St. Louis on Sunday, two days after she was attacked in her home near the small town of Lonedell. Her daughter, Abigale Lynn Woods, now 10 days old, remained missing Monday.
About 100 members of the Missouri National Guard ended their grid search of the area near the home Sunday. Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said authorities found a knife and other evidence near the home, but would not give details.
Authorities said they will rely on tips and interviews, hoping the break in the case will come from the public.
Ochsenbine helped police artists with a composite drawing of the kidnapper after leaving the hospital. The picture was expected to be released Monday, Toelke said.
The attacker was described as a white woman with black hair, 5-feet-8 and 200 pounds. Ochsenbine is not a suspect, Toelke said.
The FBI continues to aid in the search. People in the area, about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis, attended prayer services Sunday for Abby's safe return.
Fliers showing the baby were posted in gas stations and restaurants in neighboring Union. The 6-pound girl, born Sept. 8, has dark hair and a strawberry birthmark on her forehead.
Callers continued to offer tips, Toelke said.
"Any lead is good, but so far there's nothing that has stood out," he said. "There's a lot of information we have, but nothing concrete."
Ochsenbine told police she did not know the woman who came to her door Friday, asking to use the telephone, and then attacked her. Ochsenbine's 1-year-old son, Connor, also was in the house but was unharmed. Her boyfriend, James Woods, who is Abigale's father, was at work.
Ochsenbine passed out for an undetermined period of time, then picked up Connor and went for help, trying two houses where no one was home before arriving at neighbor Pat Bearden's home.
"She was standing there with blood all over her and said, 'Somebody stole my baby,'" said Bearden, 69.
On the Net:
Missouri Amber Alert: http://www.missouriamberalert.com