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When 17-year-old Shawna Woolard found out she was pregnant, she dropped out of high school, moved in with her boyfriend and began preparing the baby's room.

The standout athlete and honor student at Cabool High School was ecstatic about motherhood, relatives said.

At about the same time, Delila Clay began telling people in nearby Viburnum that she was expecting and told her boyfriend about visits to her obstetrician.

"She faked it for nine months," Viburnum Police Chief Allen Mathes said.

On July 2, Ms. Woolard delivered an 8-pound, 11-ounce boy, Chase. Eight days later, she was found shot to death on a logging road. Police found the baby with Ms. Clay, who claimed she bought the child from the new mother.

Dent County Prosecutor Sara Bryson charged Ms. Clay, 36, with first-degree murder and trafficking in children. Police allege Ms. Clay confessed, saying the two argued after Ms. Woolard backed out of the deal.

Ms. Woolard's relatives say the accusations that she sold her baby couldn't be further from the truth.

"That's as far-fetched a story as you'll ever hear," said her father, Ron.

The baby was delivered by Caesarean section on July 2 in Salem Hospital. On July 6, Ms. Woolard's boyfriend, Tim Shipp, called her around noon to see how she felt. There was no answer. At about 2:30 p.m., there was still no answer, so he asked his brother to check on her.

The front door was open, the TV set was on, and Ms. Woolard was gone.

Police were led to Ms. Clay and the baby after a neighbor became suspicious about Ms. Clay's supposed pregnancy and called police.

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