The tiny farming town of Skidmore, Missouri was in the spotlight again in December 2004 with a horrific murder. This town received national attention when it was discovered that Bobbi Jo Stinnett was murdered in her home with her eight-month-old unborn child cut out of her womb. This prompted an Amber Alert for the premature baby. The baby girl, Victoria Jo Stinnett was found alive two days later in Topeka, Kansas. Lisa Montgomery was convicted of the murder and kidnapping.
The story began with Lisa Montgomery, from Melvern, Kansas, who had been married and divorced a couple of times and had four children of her own. According to sources she liked to use pregnancy as a way to get attention and told stories of being pregnant and then having miscarriages. In late 2003 or early 2004 Montgomery claimed she was pregnant and then miscarried. Then she supposedly became pregnant again and was due in December 2004. As her due date drew closer she cut back on her three jobs. Her husband Kevin thought she really was pregnant.
Bobbi Jo Stinnett lived in Skidmore, Missouri her whole life. She graduated high school with honors in 2000. In 2003 she married her childhood sweetheart. She had a job, but raised rat terrier dogs on the side. She won prizes across the country for her dogs. In 2004 she was excited to find out she and her husband were expecting their first child. She was due in December.
Stinnett and Montgomery had met prior to the murder. Montgomery also raised rat terriers. According to sources they belonged to the same online community. Stinnett liked to share her knowledge of breeding rat terriers with other breeders in chat rooms. Stinnett had defended Montgomery when she was accused of misrepresenting her dogs pedigree. Online, Stinnett and Montgomery discussed their pregnancies.
On December 16, 2004 Lisa Montgomery posed as “Darlene Fisher” and contacted Bobbi Jo Stinnett on an internet chat room stating she wanted to buy a rat terrier dog. Stinnett gave Montgomery directions to her house and they agreed to meet the next day.
Bobbi Jo Stinnett was found in her home by her mother, Becky Harper, lying in a pool of blood with the unborn baby cut out. Harper called paramedics, but they were unable to revive Stinnett and she was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital in Maryville, Missouri. An Amber Alert was issued for the missing baby.
Meanwhile Montgomery called her husband Kevin and told him she had a daughter at a women’s clinic in Topeka, Kansas and to come pick her up at a Long John Silver’s restaurant parking lot nearby. Her husband picked her up and they drove home. The couple showed of baby “Abigail” the next day at a local restaurant and to the reverend and his wife at the First Church of God.
A woman who belonged on the same chat room as Stinnett and Montgomery had heard about the Amber Alert and recognized Stinnett’s name. She contacted the FBI, which led to the speedy recovery of the baby and the arrest of Montgomery.
The baby, Victoria Jo Stinnett is doing well and living with her father. Lisa Montgomery is currently sitting on death row for the murder of Bobbi Jo Stinnett.