Woman accused of killing of Wichita mother, kidnapping baby

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Courtesy Jose Abarca Courtesy Jose Abarca

The woman accused of kidnapping "Baby Sophia" and murdering her mother is suggesting the shooting was accidental.

ABC affiliate WFAA obtained audio of a Dallas jailhouse interview with Yesenia Sesmas. In it, Sesmas claims Laura Abarca-Nogueda had agreed to give up the newborn baby, but changed her mind when Sesmas arrived in Wichita last week.

"I was only going to threaten her if she didn't hand it over," Sesmas says in Spanish. "But the gun went off."

WFAA also reported Monday night Sesmas was arrested for kidnapping two children in Kansas in July. The station also quoted Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as saying Sesmas "does not have legal standing" to be in the U.S.

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A Wichita police official has named the woman accused of murdering a Wichita mother last week and abducting her newborn child. 

Lt. Todd Ojile said 34-year-old Yesenia Sesmas was arrested in the killing of Laura Abarca-Nogueda and kidnapping of Sophia Gonzales. Ojile said she faked a pregnancy for several months and then traveled to Wichita to commit the crimes before returning to Dallas with the baby.

Sesmas was booked in Dallas on a Sedgwick County warrant for first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, robbery and aggravated battery.  A statement from the Sedgwick County District Attorney said a decision on charging will be announced Tuesday morning.  

Police: Baby Sophia found safe, reunited with family in Wichita

KAKEland cares for family of Baby Sophia

Wichita police seek public's help in search for newborn

The shooting and kidnapping happened Thursday afternoon in the 200 block of North Brunswick, near Maple Ridge Road. The 27-year-old woman's boyfriend returned to their apartment from work to find she had been shot. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified her as Laura Abarca-Nogueda. 

"On Friday, members of the Wichita FBI office along with the special agents of the FBI CARD Team began arriving in Wichita, and a command post was set up," Lt. Ojile said. "Approximately 25 agents from the FBI continued the investigation."

Friday night, the suspect was identified, and information led investigators to a home in Dallas. 

At about 4:30 Saturday morning Dallas SWAT executed a search warrant at a residence in the 900 block of Signet. Sophia Gonzales was found in the home and was safely taken into protective custody. 

"Immediately upon learning that Sophia was found safely in Dallas, investigators from the Wichita Police Department boarded a Sedgwick County sheriff's plane and flew to Dallas to conduct the interviews," Ojile said. 

Lt. Ojile said three other people in the home were questioned along with Yesenia Sesmas. Her boyfriend lived at the home along with her son and niece. 

Investigators determined Sesmas was responsible for the crimes, Ojile said. He said investigators believe Sesmas had known Abarca-Nogueda for a number of years. She had lived in Wichita before returning to Dallas within the last several months. 

KAKE News ran a criminal background check on Sesmas.  The KBI said Sesmas was arrested in July for aggravated battery and kidnapping for ransom.

Baby Sophia was flown to Wichita on Saturday where she was reunited with family

"This investigation was extremely complex," Ojile said. "It involved outstanding collaboration and teamwork from numerous agencies."

Ojile thanked the FBI, the Dallas Police Department, and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department for their outstanding assistance. 

The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County DA's office Monday afternoon. It has not been determined when Sesmas will be returned to Wichita. 

KAKE's affiliate in Dallas, WFAA, reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not had previous contact with Sesmas, but there is a "hold" on her for being in the country illegally. 

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