Homicide and violence against pregnant women is becoming more and more common. It is the third leading cause of death for expecting mothers. Most often it is the unborn baby’s father who commits the violence.
Joseph Mike Devia a 19 year old from Houston Texas was arrested in Chicago last week. He was wanted in the death of a pregnant woman who reportedly refused to abort a child they had conceived last year.
Devia was taken into custody at a Navy training area at the Houston Police Department's request, and was in the process of being turned over to local authorities for extradition to Texas.
Devia was arrested on suspicion of capital murder in the August 2010 stabbing death of pregnant 20 year old, Omoyeme Obehi Erazua.
Erazua's body was discovered in a ditch on a Houston street, on the far West side of town. An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed in the neck about 20 times.
Her purse that was found at the scene contained a cellphone that showed calls and text messages between Erazua and Devia indicating Devia knew he was the baby’s father. The text messages also indicated Devia wanted Erazua to have an abortion and that she had refused, according to a complaint filed by the Harris County district attorney's office cited in the Houston Chronicle.
Erazua had been staying at the Mission of Yahweh women's shelter days before her death but left the facility Aug. 21 with several men. She telephoned the shelter later that night to say she was stranded in Galveston, according to the Chronicle.
When investigators interviewed Devia last June, he denied knowing Erazua well. He told investigators Erazua called him the night before her body was discovered and asked him to pick her up downtown, but Devia said he told her he would pick her up at St. Joseph Hospital. When he got to the hospital, Devia said, he never found her.
Police took a DNA sample from Devia that matched blood found on clothes Erazua was wearing when her body was discovered. The sample also showed Devia was likely the father of Erazua's child.
The victim was in the late first or early second trimester of her pregnancy with a baby boy.