Local News

Sanford Police: Baby Dies After Mother Shot In Chest

Posted September 27, 2005 8:48 a.m. EDT

— Sanford police say they will charge a man accused of shooting his pregnant girlfriend with first-degree murder after the baby died Saturday.

Hector Salcedo, 33, is already charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Maria Reyes, 27.

Reyes, who is expected to recover from a gunshot wound to her chest, was nearly seven months pregnant when doctors delivered the baby Sept. 17 by emergency caesarean section at Central Carolina Hospital.

The law hinges upon the fact that Reyes' baby, although injured while in the womb, survived outside for a period of time.

Currently, North Carolina has no law that covers the death of an unborn fetus, although lawmakers considered a bill to change the law in the past session of the legislature.

Capt. David Smith, of the Sanford Police Department, says this is a very unusual case for his department.

"I've been doing this for 24 years," Smith said. "And I can't recall where I've charged someone for murder of an infant that the death was the result of the mother being shot."

Neighbors of the Glenwood Drive home where authorities say the shooting happened, think the charges fit the crime.

"It was born and alive I think he should be charged with murder," said neighbor Carol Cameron.

Police are still looking for Salcedo and hope making the case public will help them locate him. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact the Sanford Police Department at

(919) 775-8346.

Reyes is currently in the hospital under protective custody until Salcedo is captured.

Every year in the United States, about 324,000 pregnant women are battered by their partners, making physical abuse more common than gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.