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Andrea Curry-Demus: Womyn tentatively ID’d, & Andrea’s husband: facing charges; raping a minor

(As this is an evolving story, I strongly urge readers to explore my previous coverage via my Andrea Curry-Demus tag, read from the bottom up in order read along chronologically, oldest to newest.)

The following is a brief introductory paragraph I’ve evolved to include with this series of posts about Andrea Curry-Demus’ Hypernatalist obsession:

Andrea Curry-Demus is a womyn with a history of abducting other womyn’s children, in one of her prior attempts she resorted to stabbing the child’s mother. She pled guilty in 1991 to aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison. In August 1998 she was paroled and began serving 10 years of probation.


Last night a tentative ID was released on the womyn’s body found in Andrea Curry-Demus’ apartment, it is presumed to be Kia Johnson, although confirmation via dental records is still pending.

Dead Mom is identified Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 20th, ’08

A woman who was found dead in a Wilkinsburg apartment had been sliced open in the abdomen with a “sharp weapon,” the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said yesterday. Her hands were bound behind her back with duct tape as were her feet.

The badly decomposed body of Kia Johnson, along with a placenta, was discovered Friday afternoon in the apartment of Andrea Curry-Demus, 38, who on Wednesday had appeared at West Penn Hospital with a newborn baby whom she falsely claimed to be her own.

Ms. Johnson, who was described as about 20 years old, 5 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing between 110 and 120 pounds, was identified by the medical examiner’s office late last night.

The exact cause of death has not been determined, but during a press conference yesterday afternoon, Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said, “Clearly, it is a homicide.”

We also gain a clearer picture of why Andrea Curry-Demus was brought to the hospital Wednesday night with the baby via ambulance, the child, apparently cut from what appears to be his mother’s uterus, wasn’t fully stabilized at that point:

The baby, a boy, had a low heart rate and a low temperature when Ms. Curry-Demus brought him to the hospital, Dr. Williams said. But he recovered quickly. He is still at the hospital.

Baby cut from womb; woman’s body ID’d Pittsburgh Tribune-Review July 20th, ’08

She was just 18 and due to give birth July 30. She may have been drugged, authorities said, when she was cut open last week and her unborn child taken from her womb.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office on Saturday night tentatively identified a woman found dead in a Wilkinsburg apartment — hands duct-taped behind her back — as Kia Johnson of Wilkinsburg, missing since Tuesday.

Other charges are likely to be forthcoming:

Other charges will be filed as the homicide investigation continues, Assistant Allegheny County Police Superintendent James Morton said during a news conference yesterday.

Johnson’s family (who had earlier been at the apartment waiting for news as to whether or not it was Kia, have now been notified:

The Medical Examiner’s Office said last night that based on circumstantial evidence, authorities believed the dead woman to be Johnson. The woman’s family has been notified, the office said. Dental records are expected to confirm their identification today.

There has also been a fair amount of speculation Kia may have been drugged to incapacitate her due to a lack of evidence of any kind of struggle:

The cause of death will be determined after other test results, including toxicology, are complete.

“We will be looking for any drug that might have helped incapacitate her,” Williams said. “There is not a lot of evidence of a struggle having occurred. There is some evidence that there were drugs at the scene.”

The Medical Examiner couldn’t say whether Kia was alive at the time or not, but he did point out the dependence of the then fetus (the proper medical term for in utero, until the moment of birth) on Kia:

The medical examiner said he couldn’t be sure whether the woman was alive when she was cut open, although the baby would not have survived long inside the mother after she died.

“There is a certain window of opportunity,” Williams said. “The baby is depending on the mother being alive.”

This article, similar to the one above discusses the state the infant was in when he arrived at the hospital:

The baby “was in some degree of distress when it arrived at West Penn Hospital,” but now “is apparently doing well,” he said. “The baby had some problems briefly to begin with — low heart rate, low temperature, probably from blood loss, and recovered very quickly with treatment.”

In previous articles we had seen some description of how Kia had been bound with duct tape and plastic, but this is the first mention I’ve seen of the plastic as having blocked her airways:

Her hands and feet were bound with duct tape, and a plastic material, blocking her airways, was duct-taped over her face, Williams said.

This article explains how police were able to rule out Tina Carter:

Fingerprints were used to rule out at least one person, a pregnant woman named Tina Carter whose family was concerned because they had not seen her in several days.

“I was just so happy that it’s not her,” said friend Rebecca Stevenson of Braddock. “Tina called at 11 last night. Until then, I thought it was her.”

Kia Johnson had apparently been close to her due date:

Johnson’s family, concerned for her welfare, spoke to investigators on Friday. The family said her baby was due July 30.

ME’s Office Tentatively ID’s Woman As Kia Johnson WTAE, originally posted on the 19th, updated on July 20th, ’08

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office has tentatively identified the woman who hands and legs were bound with duct tape in a Pittsburgh apartment as 18-year-old Kia Johnson. The medical examiner will compare dental records Sunday to confirm the identity of the body.

Kia Johnson was apparently last seen Tuesday:

Friends of Johnson’s told Channel 4 that she is from the McKeesport area. They also said Johnson did not frequent Wilkinsburg.Johnson was last seen Tuesday while visitng her boyfriend in jail.

Police Chief Coleman responded to a question concerning the conflation of the two apartments as well:

Flies could be seen circling around the apartment all day and an odor was noticeable from the sidewalk below, but police said they didn’t find the body earlier because Curry-Demus’ sister led them to the wrong apartment at first, police said.

Channel 4 Action News asked Chief Ophelia Coleman if the police were misled and she said, “I think that to be true, yes sir.”

By way of confirming that the dead womyn had been pregnant at the time, Dr. Karl Williams, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner stated:

“Her abdomen had been opened with a sharp weapon. The uterus had been opened. The uterus appeared gravid, which means that there had been a baby there,” Williams said.

This article also contains the detail that the police have ruled out Tina Carter as the potential victim:

Speculation circulated that the body belonged to Tina Carter, a pregnant woman who was an acquaintance of the Curry-Demus, but police have ruled that out.

The investigation is ongoing:

A precise cause of death of the woman found on Thursday remains under investigation. Authorities are awaiting dental records to confirm Johnson’s identity.

“We’re working with the coroner’s office continually on this if it takes all weekend into all of next week,” said James Morton, assistant superintendent of the Allegheny County police.The medical examiner said they are also investigating whether the woman was drugged because they found no sign of a struggle.

This piece also includes a link to WTAE’s coverage of the Medical Examiner’s press conference that took place Saturday, and the raw video thereof.

Watch The Report From The Saturday Press Conference, as reported by WTAE Channel 4’s Tara Edwards

Raw Video: Medical Examiner Press Conference

This AP piece from earlier on yesterday evening, Still no ID for dead woman in W.Pa. baby mystery, July 19th, ’08 also contained an interesting detail, this from the Medical Examiner:

Williams says the dead woman’s fingerprints didn’t show a match in a police database.

This Pittsburgh Tribune-Review piece, Wilkinsburg woman served jail time for baby theft, stabbing, also from July 19th, ’08 is very much a profile piece on Curry-Demus:

Andrea Curry-Demus suffered at least three miscarriages and was desperate for a baby.

During the past two decades, she stabbed a woman in a failed attempt to steal her infant and kidnapped a baby girl from a Pittsburgh hospital, court records show. This week she told police she bought a baby boy from a woman she barely knew.

Once the baby is well enough, he’s be released:

The baby, who was unharmed, will be released to the custody of the Allegheny County Department of Children, Youth and Families.

In case it was not already clear, Curry Demus’ apartment is not in the ‘well to do’ part of town:

Outside Curry-Demus’ third-floor apartment Friday, a foul, pungent odor filled the hallway and flies swarmed behind the screen of an open front window. The odor wafted to the street below.

A neighbor, Taylor Hall, 19, who lives in the apartment beneath Curry-Demus, said he didn’t think to call anyone about the odor.

“This is the ghetto. Something always smells around here,” he said.

The quote below brings us back to how it came down to the media to call police about the situation at the apartment, and how it took time before police finally entered:

A dispatcher told a reporter who called 911, suspecting a body inside, that police would check the apartment. For several hours, however, no officer responded to the call.

Wilkinsburg police Chief Ophelia Coleman said at a news conference that police had already checked the building.

“We searched the apartment, and it didn’t look like anyone had been there for a few days,” Coleman said. “Nothing was out of place, and there was nothing to lead us to believe anything violent happened there, or that a birth happened there.”

(This was due to Curry-Demus’ sister guiding police to the wrong apartment, apparently directly across the hall from Curry Demus’ apartment when they searched on Thursday.)

But the following is the profile portion, I will quote at length:

A troubled life

The tragedies of Curry-Demus’ life are played out in court records that paint the picture of a woman so desperate for a child that she became pregnant for the first time at the age of 12. She miscarried that pregnancy at about four months and sank into a depression.

Eventually Curry-Demus, who has a limited intelligence level, according to court records, graduated from Peabody High School. She took a series of maintenance jobs at fast-food restaurants.

In 1990, at age 21, she miscarried a second time, losing the fetus at 7 months, court records state. She suffered “great physical and emotional trauma” as a result, and within months was under arrest for attacking one mother and kidnapping a second woman’s 3-week-old baby.

In the first incident, Curry-Demus befriended a woman who had just given birth at Magee-Womens Hospital, spending time at the woman’s house a day or so later. During the visit, Curry-Demus told the new mother she wanted to stay overnight, and when the woman balked, Curry-Demus attacked her with a knife and tried to steal the infant. The woman’s husband intervened, and Curry-Demus ran from the home.

The next day, Curry-Demus went to Children’s Hospital, where she befriended a 16-year-old mother who had brought her 3-week-old daughter to the hospital to be treated for meningitis. When the young mother went home for the night, Curry-Demus remained. When nurses weren’t looking, she snatched the baby and left the hospital.

The newborn was found with Curry-Demus at her home, unharmed, the next day.

Curry-Demus pled guilty to various charges stemming from both incidents. She was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison in June 1991 and sent to SCI-Muncy. She was paroled Aug. 31, 1998. She was ordered to serve 10 years’ probation after her parole.

Curry-Demus was examined by psychiatrists at the Allegheny County Jail Behavioral Clinic before she was sentenced. Records show she was diagnosed with severe depression, personality disorders and auditory hallucinations.

She told doctors she spent a lot of time thinking about her miscarriages and “kept hearing babies cry.”

Horrific and incredible a story as Andrea Curry Demus is, another new detail surfaces in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article entitled simply, Body found in suspect’s apartment, July 19, ’08. Just when you thought this couldn’t get any worse we learn about Andrea’s husband.

First, here’s a mention of Curry Demus’ apartment address:

Meanwhile, news reporters who visited her apartment building at 495 Ella St. notified police of a foul smell and swarms of flies in the apartment’s windows.

There is also a mention of the crowd scene at the apartment the evening before:

As investigators entered the apartment last night, a crowd of 40 to 50 people, many acquainted with Ms. Curry-Demus, gathered outside. Many had believed Ms. Curry-Demus’ claim that she had been pregnant.

“This is all too much mystery for me. I can’t even believe somebody could deceive you that long,” said close friend and neighbor Ivee Blunt.

Also at the scene were relatives of two missing pregnant women, wondering if their loved one was the victim.

Then get get down to the initial mention of her husband, Raymond Demus Jr (and their lack of children):

Ms. Curry-Demus recently married Raymond Demus Jr., according to neighbors on Ella Street. She had no children, they said.

She and her husband have extensive criminal histories and both were in the county jail yesterday. Ms. Curry-Demus has tried to kidnap babies in the past. Mr. Demus is facing rape charges. He is accused of molesting the daughter of his former girlfriend.

and further down in the article:

Her husband, Mr. Demus, 40, has a history of arrests that includes charges for firearms violations, assault, arson and drugs.

Last month, he was arrested and accused of routinely molesting a girl in North Braddock from 1997 to 2003, starting when she was in kindergarten, according to a criminal complaint.

In March, the girl told an Allegheny County police detective that Mr. Demus would often abuse her in her mother’s bedroom while he watched pornographic videos, the complaint said.

Now 15, the girl recently told her mother, Mr. Demus’ former girlfriend, about the alleged abuse.

On June 25, Mr. Demus was held for trial on 10 charges, including two counts of rape, two counts of statutory sexual assault and one count of corruption of minors.

I’ll end with a link to many of KDKA’s video pieces from Saturday:

Officials Tentatively ID Body Found In Apartment KDKA in addition to the story be sure to view the additional video segments which can be found by accessing the “video library” at the bottom right hand of the player, then use the search function for these titles:

Autopsy planned for body found in Wilkinsburg Apt July 18, ’08 8:13pm

Medical Examiner removes body from Wilkinsburg Apt 10:11pm July 18th,08

Wilkinsburg Police body found face down July 18th, ’08 6:14pm

Body Found in Wilkinsburg suspect’s Apartment 5:47pm & 6:22pm July 18th, ’08

Dr: Infant abductors show degrees of aggression July 18, ’08 6:28pm

Medical examiner working to ID body of woman 7:20pm July 19th

Also of note in the article through, is the first mention of a kidnapping charge I’d seen:

Curry-Demus is now facing charges of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of the child. She remains in the Allegheny County Jail on $10,000 bond and awaiting a mental examination.

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