Suspect in pregnant teen death had baby obsession

.PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A woman accused of slicing open a pregnant woman’s belly and taking her baby was obsessed with getting an infant and even had hallucinations of hearing babies cry after a February 1990 miscarriage, according to court records.

A few months later, Andrea Curry-Demus stabbed one woman in an apparent plot to steal her newborn; the next day, she kidnapped another baby from a hospital.

Curry-Demus, 38, of Wilkinsburg, was charged Sunday with homicide, kidnapping and related offenses in the death of Kia Johnson, 18.

Johnson’s decomposing body, with her wrists and ankles bound by duct tape and layers of tape and plastic covering much of her head, was found Friday in Curry-Demus’ apartment. A day earlier Curry-Demus had taken the baby to a hospital, claiming first that she was the mother and later that she paid for the child.

Authorities say the two women met at the Allegheny County jail on July 15 while visiting different inmates.

Efforts to determine if Curry-Demus has an attorney have been unsuccessful and no hearing has been set on the current charges.

Court records for Curry-Demus’ 1990 criminal cases paint a picture of a woman apparently unable to deal with the loss of her own child in her seventh month of pregnancy. She was 21 at the time, and told authorities she also had miscarried at age 12.

“While she admitted committing the offenses, she had great difficulty in verbalizing her feelings or motivations other than to mention the loss of her own child due to a miscarriage several months prior to the present offenses,” according to a presentence report prepared for the two criminal cases.

According to court records, Curry-Demus visited Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in the spring of 1990 and she befriended a woman who had recently given birth there.

They exchanged numbers and Curry-Demus called the woman a few days later, telling her she wanted to visit the baby and bring some clothes. She spent the day with the woman, her husband and the new baby and even asked to stay overnight.

The woman wasn’t comfortable with that and a jitney was called for Curry-Demus in the early morning of May 5. While the woman was looking out the window for the jitney, Curry-Demus grabbed her from behind and stabbed her in the back. Curry-Demus fled when the woman called for her husband.

Hours later, Curry-Demus visited another hospital and met a young mother whose 3-week-old baby was being treated for meningitis. The next day – May 6 – several nurses saw Curry-Demus at the hospital and later noticed the baby was missing.

Police located Curry-Demus by tracing calls made from the hospital to Curry-Demus’ mother. The baby was recovered unharmed.

Curry-Demus pleaded guilty in January 1991 to kidnapping, concealment of the whereabouts of child and related offenses and was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison for taking the baby from the hospital. She also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the stabbing case and received 10 years’ probation. She was released in 1998.

While awaiting resolution of the 1990 cases, Curry-Demus was twice briefly committed to a state mental hospital. An examination found her to be “in the midst of a major depressive episode.” She also reported auditory hallucinations – that she kept “hearing babies cry.”

She was found competent to stand trial, but also diagnosed with major depression and a mixed personality disorder. She graduated high school, but tests showed she had a “borderline intelligence level.”

Johnson’s funeral will be Friday in McKeesport, her family announced. In obituary information provided by a funeral home, the family said Johnson volunteered with the Salvation Army, helping with the homeless and day care.

The family has named her son after her: Terrell Kian Johnson.