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Police: Infant snatched after mom's throat slashed

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(CNN) -- Police are looking for 8-day-old Abigale Lynn Woods after a woman allegedly stabbed the infant's mother and slashed her throat before taking the child from her rural Missouri home, investigators said Saturday.

A statewide Amber Alert has been issued.

The mother, Stephanie Ochsenbine, 21, told police the woman knocked on her door Friday, asking to use the phone, then attacked her. Ochsenbine was in serious condition after undergoing surgery Friday. (Watch a grandmother tearfully describe the family's agony -- 1:11)

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said evidence at the scene supports the mother's story.

"She asked to use the phone, and she came in and attempted to make a call. But apparently their long distance service wasn't working, and I think she asked to use the bathroom," Toelke said. "At one point, she told [Ochsenbine]she was there to take the child, and that's when there was an altercation inside the house."

The Amber Alert says the suspect was armed with an "unknown [type of]handgun and fillet knife."

Ochsenbine was briefly unconscious after the attack. When she woke up, she walked 300 yards to a neighbor's home, a feat Toelke called "quite extraordinary" considering her wounds.

Neighbor Pat Bearden said the bleeding Ochsenbine told her, "Someone stole my baby."

Ochsenbine also has a 1-year-old son who was in the house at the time. He was not harmed.

The infants's father, James Woods, was at work when the intruder took Abigale, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Police spoke to Ochsenbine on Friday before a helicopter flew her to a hospital, and they were hoping to interview her her again Saturday, Toelke said.

Police suspect the culprit may have lost a child recently or may not be able to have children, Toelke said.

"They're taking a child to fulfill the vacancy," he said. "They'll go out and take a child to maybe satisfy their spouse, something along those lines.

"Sometimes people will actually tell people that they're pregnant and around the time that they're due to have the child will go out to steal a child just to show that they weren't lying," he said. "They may say, 'Well, we adopted the child.' "

There are few leads in the case because Ochsenbine did not see any vehicles in the driveway or on the gravel road leading up to the home in Lonedell, the sheriff said. Lonedell is about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri. (Watch what police are doing to find the infant and suspect -- :59)

The Amber Alert describes the suspect as a white woman between 30 and 40 years old. She is said to be about 5-feet-8 and weighs 200 pounds. Her dark or black hair was pulled under a baseball cap with a worn bill, authorities said. She was wearing a gray or brown T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

She also was wearing sunglasses and a black scarf around her neck, and had a female mustache, according to the alert.

The woman may have been cut on the leg in the struggle with the mother, Toelke said.

The infant, who goes by Abby, weighs almost 6 pounds, has black hair and blue eyes, and was wearing a pink dress with a flowered collar when she was taken, the alert said. Abby has a strawberry birthmark between her eyes. (Read the Amber Alertexternal link)

Abby's grandmother, who asked that her name not be made public, issued a plea to the kidnappers, saying: "We don't have no issues with you. We just want her back."

"It's all [Stephanie] ever wanted is to have boy and girl," the grandmother said. "She just loves them. She wants them back. It's just that simple."

The FBI was helping in the investigation, and the Missouri National Guard joined the search Saturday, Toelke said.

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Abigale Lynn Woods is missing. Her 1-year-old brother was left in the house.

Amber Alert info

An Amber Alert has been issued in Missouri for week-old Abigale Lynn Woods, who was abducted from her rural Missouri home after her mother was attacked.

Police are looking for a white woman between 30 and 40 years old. The suspect is about 5-feet-8 and weighs 200 pounds. She wore her dark hair under a baseball cap with a worn bill. She was wearing a gray or brown T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

She was armed with a handgun and fillet knife.

Woods weighs almost 6 pounds, has black hair, blue eyes and was wearing a pink dress with a flowered collar when she was taken. Abby has a birthmark between her eyes. She last seen Friday in Lonedell, Missouri, about 45 miles south of St. Louis.

Anyone with information on Woods' whereabouts should contact authorities at (888) 265-8639.



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