A troubled woman's desire for a baby caused her and two male companions to murder a pregnant woman and two of her children and cut open the woman's uterus to steal her unborn child, prosecutors said Monday.

A judge Monday ordered the three held without bond on charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping, and appointed public defenders to represent them in what could be a death penalty case."I'd just like to know why I'm being charged," a disheveled-looking Jacqueline Annette Williams, 28, of Schaumburg said as she appeared in court. Her boyfriend, Fedell Caffey, 22, and Lavern Ward, 24, of Wheaton, also were held in the DuPage County Jail.

They are accused of fatally stabbing Deborah Evans, 28, killing her 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, cutting open Evans' uterus and kidnapping the woman's 81/2-month-old fetus. The child was injured in the unorthodox birth but was recovering at a hospital, authorities said.

The three left the apartment complex with Evans' son, Joshua, 8, and the newborn child, authorities said. Another Evans child, Jordan, was left behind unharmed. Authorities said Ward was the 17-month-old child's father.

But Joshua was later found stabbed to death in a Maywood alley.

Prosecutors said they were able to piece together some of what happened from statements by Williams and an unidentified witness they said spoke with Joshua while he was held captive in the Williams apartment.

Prosecutors said the reason for the attack evidently was that Williams wanted a baby of her own.

They said that when the three went to Evans' apartment, they apparently were invited in, then went on a murderous rampage.

Friends said that Evans had moved to Addison last year after drug dealers overran her old neighborhood in another Chicago suburb, Hanover Park.

Friends say Evans dreamed of getting off welfare and making life better for her children.

The newborn infant, a boy relatives named Elijah, was recovered from one of the suspects Friday night and was in good condition Sunday at a Chicago-area hospital.