The body of Valicia Andrea Demery, 19, was discovered this week on the running track at a high school in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Police say her boyfriend ran her over with his car. She was five months pregnant. Both had attended the Forestville Military Academy, where Demery’s body was found.
Demery’s father said 20 year old Bernard Bellamy didn’t want her to have a baby, but she wanted him to be a part of the baby’s life. The two exchanged these text messages prior to the murder:
She said: I really hope you cum to ur senses soon. I didn’t make this baby myself.
Him: I hope u come 2 urs b4 its 2 late.
Her: B4 whats too late?
Him: U will see
According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women. The majority of victims are young, single, and African-American, and most are killed by the men who got them pregnant.
I heard about the discovery of Demery’s body on the local news the other day. It’s chilling that “get the boyfriend” is the first thing that pops into my head in cases like hers. But, sadly, it’s the surest path to finding the killers – men who consider murder a good alternative to fatherhood (or a monthly child support payment). These murders are not isolated incidents; they are symptomatic of a culture wherein men feel entitled to control women’s lives and bodies. Step out of line, make a decision they don’t like, and they might punish you for it. I don’t know how to put an end to it, but I know pregnancy should not be a risk factor for murder.