The days before an expectant mother gives birth are filled with nervousness, anticipation and, of course, excitement. A woman on the verge of welcoming a child into the world should never feel the chill of pure terror, but that’s exactly what happened to Angelique Robledo.
Days before she was due to give birth, her world was turned upside down by a so-called friend who wanted to take Robledo’s unborn child and claim him as her own. But would this woman’s sick plot succeed, or would Robledo be able to foil her terrifying plan?
Initially, everything about Robledo’s friendship with 18-year-old Kassandra Toruga seemed normal. A mutual acquaintance had introduced the pair because both women were heavily pregnant. When they first met Robledo was close to her due date, while Toruga was seven months into her pregnancy.
“She just seemed like she wanted to be really close to me,” Robledo later recalled during an appearance on the Dr. Phil show. So, when Toruga called to hang out with her pregnant friend just days before her baby was due, Robledo obliged.
When Toruga arrived, however, the conversation took an unexpected turn. The women, along with Robledo’s mother, discussed the different ways in which a baby could be delivered. “[We were] talking about what would happen if you were to get a C-section: where would you cut, how do you cut,” Robledo explained.
Robledo’s mother even went to far as to show her own C-section scar to prove to Toruga that the incision wouldn’t be too big. Perhaps she thought that the teen was nervous about her own upcoming delivery. Eventually, though, she had to take Robledo’s brothers to football practice, leaving the two teen-moms-to-be alone.
But when Robledo’s mom left, the mood suddenly shifted. Toruga told her friend that she had gifts for her. She turned off the lights and shut the door to Robledo’s room, seemingly in an attempt to hide the surprises in store. Her real reason for doing so was deeply sinister, however.
In fact, Robledo had an eerie feeling that something about the “surprise” wasn’t right. She listened as Toruga rifled through her bag in search of the gifts. “I started to get really scared,” Robledo admitted. “She put one hand on my shoulder, leaned me forward and counted to three.”
“When she got to three, I jumped up and turned on the light,” Robledo continued, a move that seemed to catch Toruga off-guard. “She was putting something back into her bag. My instincts were telling me that she was going to hurt me,” Robledo added.
Then, however, the situation became even worse for Robledo. “All of a sudden I started smelling smoke,” she recalled. But when Robledo asked Toruga if she also smelled it, the 18-year-old brushed her off, claiming not to be able to notice anything unusual. Robledo then opened her closet doors to see a blazing fire. “Flames everywhere,” she explained.
Unsurprisingly, Robledo began to panic at this point. “I just start[ed] crying,” she said. Fortunately, emergency services were on their way to deal with the blaze that had started. And as police and firefighters investigated cause of the fire, Robledo decided to have a look inside her friend’s bag.
“I put my hands inside the diaper bag and the first thing my hands touch are two huge butcher’s knives,” Robledo said. In that moment, Robledo – and the authorities on the scene – guessed what Toruga had been planning.
“She wanted to kill me and rip my baby right from my womb,” Robledo explained, tears rolling down her face at the memory. “If I had not gotten up and turned on the light, she could have stabbed me and gotten away with everything.”
The fire wasn’t a distraction or an accident, either – it was part of Toruga’s twisted plan. Not only was she planning to surgically remove and steal Robledo’s unborn baby, but she also intended to burn the young mother’s body afterwards.
Coming to terms with her friend’s intentions has been very tough for Robledo, who had always turned a blind eye to Toruga’s strange behavior in the past. “There were a lot of signs. I just didn’t look into it,” she admitted. “I just thought, you know, I was the crazy one for thinking that she was even capable of that.”
It turned out that Toruga was capable of quite a lot, however. She had also been lying about her own pregnancy, in fact. The truth was that Toruga wasn’t pregnant at all, despite the fact that she even used an ultrasound photo as her MySpace picture. Authorities later said that the teen had struggled with schizophrenia.
Toruga went on to plead “guilty except insane” on the charge of attempted arson of an occupied structure. For her crime, she was subsequently sent to a psychiatric hospital for seven-and-a-half years. Before she went there, though, Robledo was allowed to tell her how traumatizing her actions had been.
An Instagram photo of the statement that Robledo recited to Toruga in court reads, “You took a part of my life that I will never get back. You made me fear everything in life. People look at me strange because I fear things that others think are unrealistic. I figured that this was unrealistic but you showed me otherwise.”
Robledo also touched upon how Toruga’s actions had affected the way in which she parented her son Ryland, who was born ten days after her harrowing ordeal. “I wake up four times every night just to make sure Ryland is still there,” the statement read. “When I go to the store, I won’t turn my back on him. He never stays with a babysitter because I don’t trust anyone.”
With Toruga locked away and Robledo’s family safe, though, she has managed to find happiness. Along with Ryland, who’s now six, she also has a two-year-old son named Maddux. And in October 2017 she welcomed a third child into the world, a daughter named Scarlett Jaymes. Ever since that fateful day, she’s always focused on the most important thing in life: her children. A caption for an image of Robledo holding her newborn daughter says it all: “Love mom life.”