Months before she was arrested for allegedly murdering a Kansas mother and abducting her 6-day-old newborn girl, Yesenia Sesmas allegedly committed a crime with striking similarities, Wichita police confirm to PEOPLE.
In July, Sesmas was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery and aggravated kidnapping, a Wichita police spokeswoman says.
The alleged victim, Adriana Portillo, detailed her allegations in a recent interview with The Wichita Eagle, saying Sesmas lured her into the basement of her home and tried to kidnap her 3- and 10-year-old daughters.
At the time of the alleged attack, Portillo was eight months pregnant with a girl, she told the paper. She said Sesmas, whom she considered a friend, had allegedly confided she was desperate to have a daughter but couldn’t get pregnant.
Portillo told the Eagle that Sesmas was preparing to move to Dallas and had offered to give her old clothes and a TV. When Portillo arrived at Sesmas’s house, she alleged, Sesmas began acting strange and then turned violent.
Sesmas, who Portillo says was carrying duct tape and a knife, allegedly took Portillo’s cell phone and told her to put duct tape on her daughters, Portillo told the Eagle.
Portillo said she refused, whereupon Sesmas allegedly said she needed $10,000 and threatened Portillo and her family. The pair allegedly got into a physical fight before Sesmas tried to run upstairs, according to Portillo, who then grabbed Sesmas’s hair and pulled her back down the stairs.
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While the women fought, Portillo’s eldest daughter gained possession of Portillo’s phone and called police, Portillo told the Eagle. Portillo hit Sesmas in the eye, she said, and managed along with her daughters to get upstairs, outside and into the family vehicle, she told the paper.
While Portillo and her daughters were in the car, she alleged to the Eagle that Sesmas began apologizing. And when police arrived, Portillo alleged Sesmas said, “Don’t say anything,” and “Tell them we were playing.”
Portillo was arrested and charged but was was released from jail two days later after making bond, Sedgwick County court officials tell PEOPLE.
Court officials did not know whether Sesmas had entered a plea or retained an attorney for the July charges.
Portillo told the paper she believed her alleged attacker was still behind bars all this time until she heard the news of 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda’s death last week.
Wichita police responding to reports of gunshots on Thursday arrived to find Abarca-Nogueda fatally shot in her home, Wichita police Lt. Todd Ojile said at a press conference on Monday.
A multi-sate search was launched immediately for her 6-day-old newborn, Sophia Gonzalez, who was discovered in Sesmas’s Dallas home late Friday night, Ojile said.
Sophia, who police said appeared to be unharmed, was returned to her family Saturday afternoon.
Police believe Sesmas and Abarca-Nogueda knew each other for a few years, Ojile said, adding that Sesmas allegedly faked a pregnancy in the months leading up to the alleged crimes.
Sesmas said in a jailhouse interview with Spanish television channel KUVN-TV of Dallas that she killed Abarca-Nogueda by accident. She said in the interview that Abarca-Nogueda had promised to give her the newborn but changed her mind at the last minute. She said she threatened Abarca-Nogueda with her gun but it discharged by mistake.
Sesmas is being held in Dallas for kidnapping and first-degree murder charges, Ojile said at Monday’s news conference.
Sesmas has not yet entered a plea to the recent charges. It is unclear whether Sesmas has an attorney or if she will be extradited back to Kansas.