News

Woman accused of infant kidnapping plot was self-styled business coach with book, podcasts

LONG BEACH, Calif. – A woman who is accused of masterminding a scheme to kidnap two babies and pass them off as her own after she told her married boyfriend she’d given birth to his twins is a self-styled business mogul with scores of podcasts, websites and a book to her name, records searches revealed Thursday.

Giseleangelique René D’Milian, 47, and three others were arrested Wednesday in what police called an ‘evil’ scheme to abduct infants and kill their mothers. The sordid plot led to the abduction and murder of a 3-week-old girl in January after her parents and uncle were shot in a home invasion and a second woman was attacked in February with a baseball bat in an attempt to steal her 4-month-old son, police said.

There was no hint of D’Milian’s alleged scheme on her multiple websites and international fan sites, where she went by René Reyes. She advertised herself as the founder of an Indie label and a professional speaker who has helped multinational corporations improve their operations.

She had 271 podcasts on iTunes under the title “Speak Into Existence With René Reyes,” where she refers to herself as an award-winning ghost songwriter, poet laureate and empowerment speaker.

She is “one of the most sincere and kindest women you will ever meet. Her biggest downfall would be trying to help others, even those who later may show not to deserve it,” her website boasts.

Police instead painted D’Milian as a twisted schemer who was only out to convince her boyfriend that she had borne his twins last December while she was out of the country. There is no indication he knew of the plans.

“She fabricated a story and wanted him to believe these children were his. Why? We don’t know. We’re not sure what the motivation was,” Long Beach Police Lt. Lloyd Cox said, adding that D’Milian was searching for children with a dark complexion that matched her own.

A photo on D’Milian’s Twitter account background appears to support the scenario: “Twins with the man I absolutely love!!!” it read, with happy faces blowing heart-shaped kisses.

D’Milian also started a fake charity focusing on 1- to 2-month-old babies in an attempt to find children to kidnap, authorities said.

D’Milian and one of her accomplices, 29-year-old Anthony McCall, tailed the 3-week-old baby, Eliza, and her mother on Jan. 3 as they rode a public bus in Long Beach, police said. D’Milian briefly spoke with the mother as she exited the bus and two hours later McCall burst into the home, shot the baby’s parents and uncle and kidnapped Eliza, police said.

The baby was found dead in a trash bin the following day in Imperial Beach, a Mexican border city 100 miles away.

On Feb. 6, police said, McCall attacked a 23-year-old mother with a baseball bat in an El Segundo hotel room with the goal of stealing her 4-month-old son.

McCall was scared away when hotel guests alerted workers, who intervened. He escaped and the baby was unharmed.

Investigators would not say how baby Eliza died and declined to discuss what may have motivated the woman’s accomplices beyond saying that the man they believe carried out the attacks was a friend.

Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna called the plot “evil.”

“I can’t summarize it any other way,” he said. “In my 29 years, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

D’Milian, of Thousand Oaks, was arrested on suspicion of murder, kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy. McCall, of Oceanside, was arrested on the same charges.

D’Milian’s daughter, Charisse Shelton, 30, and Todd Boudreaux, 44, were arrested on suspicion of helping cover up the crimes, authorities said.

All were being held without bail except Shelton, whose bail was set at $1 million.

It wasn’t clear if they have attorneys or would request public defenders at a hearing set for Friday.

Online, however, D’Milian portrayed herself as a “masterful genius behind so many ventures” with a music and speaking career and a published book called “Speak Into Existence: Affirmations For Success.”

In 2013, she helped sponsor “Leadership Success Summit” and spoke for 30 minutes on the subject of success, going over time and receiving praise from the crowd, said Lisa Marie Platske, who plans the annual event.

Though D’Milian, whom Platske knew as Reyes, claimed to receive the “Most Excellent Speaker Award” in 2013, Platske said that award doesn’t exist. She said all sponsors receive a general award.

D’Milian also claimed to have attended law school “to help fight for justice in the murder of her daughter,” which then motivated her to help people in 46 countries.

____

Follow Flaccus Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus and Abdollah at http://www.twitter.com/latams .