MONTREAL — A newborn who was delivered by emergency C-section after its mother was stabbed multiple times died in hospital Monday, police said.
A 37-year-old man who is the woman’s partner was taken into custody several hours later, said spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant.
Police were called to a home in the city’s Montreal North borough around 2:30 a.m. and found the woman, 33, stabbed multiple times in the upper and lower body.
The suspect was not at home when police arrived and the victim, who was eight months pregnant, was transported to hospital.
“The woman is in stable condition,” Brabant said. “Unfortunately the baby did not survive its wounds and was pronounced dead in hospital.”
Hours after the attack, around noon on Monday, the suspect reappeared and approached a police vehicle not far from the scene of the crime.
“After a brief discussion, he was arrested,” Brabant said.
It was not the police force’s first visit to the home.
Around 10 p.m. Sunday night, officers responded to a domestic violence call at the couple’s residence, Brabant said.
The woman’s partner was not at home at the time, and their two children were sent to stay with a relative.
Brabant said the woman did not want to leave the home.
“Police made a report and strongly suggested to the woman to leave the house but she refused,” he said.
A neighbour said the woman was yelling and knocking at her door at around 2:30 a.m.
“I opened my door, she was screaming,” said Noella Bernier. “I called 911. She was wounded and there was blood all over her. Blood on her stomach. She was pregnant, she told me she was in her last month.”
Bernier said she heard the couple arguing frequently during the eight months they lived in the building.
Police were questioning the man on Monday, and prosecutors will decide on Tuesday what charges he will face.
It is possible the man could be charged with murder because the baby died, said Commander Michael Chartrand.
Police believe the suspect tried to commit a robbery at a dépanneur in Rosemont a few hours after the stabbing.
Neighbour Stanley Sainey said he was surprised to learn that his neighbour was a suspect in the stabbing.
“He is always smiling and would often say hello,” said Sainey, who lives in the same building. “When I saw his car was gone, I figured it out. I was very surprised by this news because I didn’t know there was violence in that relationship.”
Sainey said he rarely spoke to the victim because “she is very quiet and doesn’t talk much.”
However, he confirmed that police had been to the apartment several times since the couple moved in last December.
— With files from the Montreal Gazette and Cogeco Nouvelles