Illegal immigrant found guilty of the deaths of Kansas mother, the kidnapping of her 6-day-old baby

Baby Sophia Victoria Gonzalez Abarca, who went missing after her mother was shot, and Yesenia Sesma (inset) who was sentenced for the killing of Sophia’s 27-year-old mother, Laura Abarca-Nogueda, and taking the child to Texas.

(Wichita Police and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman who faked a pregnancy for several months was found guilty on Tuesday of killing her former colleague, and kidnapping the victim’s newborn baby with the intention to raise the child as her own.

Yesenia Sesmas, 36, an illegal immigrant who lives in Dallas, in the time, and drove to Wichita, Kan. to shoot the 27-year-old Laura Abarca on Nov. 17, 2016, and kidnap a 6-days-old Sophia Gonzales. The baby was found safe two days later in the Sesmas’ Dallas apartment and was returned to family members.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours on Tuesday and found Sesmas guilty of the first degree premeditated and deliberate murder, kidnapping and interference with parental authority.

“We really wanted to go through this trial and justice. And I think that happened today,” Jose Abarca, the victim’s older brother told the Wichita Eagle.

During the trial, the public prosecutor said that Sesmas referred to as a pregnancy months after suffering a miscarriage and when she found out Abarca had given birth, and drove to Wichita to kill her and the baby. The two women worked together at a Wichita restaurant years earlier.

Sesmas was in the country illegally and was arrested for the summer to kill in the name of another Wichita woman and try to get the woman and her two daughters for ransom. But she was accidentally released because of a bureaucratic mix-up.


The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said at the time that it did not receive the July 25 list of arrests from the Sedgwick County sheriff’s office result Yesenia Sesmas’ name on it until the next day, and by that time she had already been released from the local authority, the Associated Press reported at the time. The agency would have requested that they be held as Sesmas, a Mexican national, is still in prison, a spokesman told the AP at the time.

During the six-day trial, prosecutors focused on the 36-year-old’s intentions, including how during the faking of her pregnancy Sesmas prepared for a new baby. Sesmas even had a baby shower and had reached a point where she “was either going to have to come home with a baby” or explain her lies to those who knew her, according to the Eagle.

“When she walked into that apartment on Nov. 17, 2016, there were only two ways for this to end,” Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said. Sesmas went back to Texas to think “they would wake up and the increase of the baby and her life would start,” he said.


In a jailhouse interview with KUVN-TV, Sesmas said Abarca had agreed to hand over the baby to her, but during an apparent dispute they said that they accidentally shot her. Public defender Jason Smartt called the killing “unplanned and spontaneous”, says the Eagle.

“She did not know that (the gun) went on fire, and she was surprised when he did it,” he said.

Sesmas faces life in prison and the possibility of extra time when she is sentenced on July 13.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular