Michelle Wilkins was seven months pregnant with her first child when she became a victim of a horrific crime: A stranger cut open Wilkins’ stomach and took the baby from her womb. Wilkins survived, but her unborn daughter, whom she had named Aurora, did not.
For the first time, 26-year-old Wilkins opens up to Dr. Phil about the brutal attack on March 17, what she’s learned from it, and why she chooses compassion and forgiveness after enduring unbearable heartache. The episode airs on the season premiere of Dr. Phil on Monday – check local listings.
Wilkins says she responded to a Craigslist ad from Dynel Lane, 34, who was giving away maternity clothes in her Longmont home, about 30 miles north of Denver. Once Wilkins was at Lane’s house to get the maternity clothes, she says that Lane also offered her baby clothes that she said were in the basement. “Intuitively, I had that sensation wash over me: I have everything I need. But for fear of being impolite, I decided to stay,” recalls Wilkins in the video above. “She actually, physically reached across me and closed the door in front of me. I think about that moment a lot in the sense that this is a cautionary tale. What I would share with people is to listen to that inner voice of wisdom.”
According to Wilkins, she began to follow Lane downstairs, at which point she says Lane attacked her. ”She lurches me sideways into the back bedroom … She throws me to the bed, trying to suffocate me with a pillow, with her hands,” says Wilkins, who says she then remembers being hit over the head with a lava lamp. “I felt the liquid wash over me,” she says. “I kept saying, ‘Why, why are you doing this? Why?'”
She continues, “I just remember very clearly this one moment where I was holding out my hand … and I said, ‘I don’t understand why you’re doing this. I love you.'” But Wilkins says she wasn’t saying those words as a survival strategy; she actually believed it. “It’s part of my core belief as a human being that love motivates,” she explains. “That’s what connects us to all other beings. In that moment, I believed that I loved her, so I told her that and in turn, she stabbed me and said, ‘If you love me, you’ll let me do this.'”
She says she then went unconscious. When she woke up, she had a huge cut across her stomach and she called 911. “I had lost so much blood at that point, I wasn’t even aware that Aurora had been removed,” says Wilkins. “I had made that 911 call still thinking I was a pregnant woman.”
When she got to the hospital, it became clear to her that Aurora had not survived, but she did get the chance to spend a brief moment with her boyfriend, Dan, and deceased daughter. “Dan and I thought she was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen,” Wilkins says. “I was just so grateful to have her, even for her short and small life. I think she was perfect … Those were our first moments as a family.”
Lane is charged with attempted murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Lane has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on November 3. She remains in custody on a $ 2 million bond. She reportedly claims she cut the baby out of Wilkins to save it after Wilkins tried to stab her.
On Monday’s episode of Dr. Phil, Wilkins shares how she’s moving forward from the tragedy. Find out why she says she hasn’t lost faith in humanity and what she says she wishes for Lane. Watch a preview, and check local listings here.
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