Saevon Josey said he spent the past nine months believing he was going to be a father.
He was apprehensive when Breona Moore came to him in December, after he tried to break off their relationship and told him she was pregnant. But after she showed him sonogram photos, he quickly tried to pull his young life together in preparation for fatherhood.
He quit school and started a job. He stopped partying and took parenting classes. He took Ms. Moore shopping for baby clothes at Burlington Coat Factory.
They even named their future son -- Na'vaiz.
"I went through so much stuff because of her lies," Mr. Josey, 19, said.
Ms. Moore has been charged with kidnapping the baby of another couple from Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
Months ago, Ms. Moore started posting pictures and notes about her pregnancy on her Facebook page.
In April, she posted an ultrasound photo and later posted a photograph showing herself, looking at her mid-section, with writing on the photograph that said "Baby Boy!," "Na'vaiz," "09/14/2012" and "Hi Mommy."
In May, she posted a picture of herself holding a baby's shirt and posted more ultrasound photographs that she arranged in a collage with the words, "It's a Boy!" She also posted a photograph of herself that month posing to show what she presented as her growing mid-section and saying she had "4 more months to go!"
Ms. Moore's stomach looked bigger as the months wore on. She even built her own nursery at the apartment she had found in McKeesport.
On Monday, after Ms. Moore posted a picture of the newborn baby she said was hers on her Facebook page, the notes of congratulations from her friends came first.
"Awe ... he's handsome ... like congrats boo!!!!" one friend wrote.
And then came requests for details about the birth.
Did she deliver or have a C-section? Was she feeling okay? What hospital was she in? When was she leaving? And what size was her baby?
The 19-year-old responded that she had a C-section, that she was in pain and that she was at Magee.
Eager to see his newborn son that day, Mr. Josey said he tried to meet up with Ms. Moore at Magee, but she was evasive, so he gave up.
On Tuesday, he ramped up his efforts to see the boy, stopping at the hospital's front desk, where a man told him no one by Ms. Moore's name was registered.
He said he called her and asked her to come down to the lobby, but she said she couldn't move because of her C-section.
Frustrated, Mr. Josey left.
She told her neighbors she was pregnant when she moved into a Union Avenue apartment building at the beginning of this month. She moved into a second-floor walk-up, telling neighbors her baby boy was due in a few weeks.
Eloise Robbins, 54, who lives on the first floor, took pity on her, believing her to be a single teenager with a baby on the way. She cooked for Ms. Moore once, bringing her a plate with a hamburger and green beans.
On Sunday, Ms. Moore wandered in when her door was open and she had company. Ms. Robbins sat her down in an easy chair, put a fan on her to keep her cool and gave her a bowl of fruit.
Ms. Robbins, whose own grandchildren live in Philadelphia, said she was excited for Ms. Moore. From a nearby church that offers free clothing, she got the baby pajamas and Ms. Moore sleeping bags because she worried she didn't have a bed.
She told Ms. Robbins that she was heading in for a C-section on Monday.
When they saw each other on Tuesday, she told her that the baby had been born, but that he remained in the hospital because he was premature. She planned to host a cook-out to celebrate the baby's arrival, and invited Ms. Robbins.
She also said she could not get the child's birth certificate because she did not have her own.
"I found that to be a little strange," Ms. Robbins said.
She was dumbfounded that the woman lied about being pregnant.
Ms. Moore posted on Facebook about what she said was her new baby, saying she would leave the hospital Thursday, about 11 a.m., and that she would bring the newborn to a picnic in Mellon Park where she expected to see friends Saturday.
She wrote that her baby was "& lbs 22 ounces 19 inches," likely meaning to type 7 pounds.
That day, the pair played phone tag until about 1 p.m., when she called to say she had left Magee and was headed to his house.
They opted to meet at the Investment Building Downtown instead because Ms. Moore wanted to show off her baby to a friend at the Student Conservation Association. She had a stroller and was ready to go.
"I'm holding the stolen baby and thinking he was mine," he said. "We're walking around and people are saying, that baby is so cute, and I'm saying, thank you. ... She was such a good actor. She played everyone, not just me."
They parted ways about 30 minutes before Ms. Moore was arrested at the Downtown building. Mr. Josey was at a nearby McDonald's, still unaware that the caper being discussed among friends on Facebook involved him.
"I always knew she was weird," he said. "I didn't know she was capable of doing something like this."
On Ms. Moore's Facebook page, even as they expressed shock to hear of Ms. Moore's arrest, her friends posted notes saying they were surprised she wasn't even pregnant.
"I Went To School w. Her Yooo , And I Thought She Was Really Pregnant!" one person wrote Thursday on her Facebook page. "Dats Wat She Was Tellin Everybody And It Looked Like It."
Other people started writing about holes in her story.
The three baby pictures she posted on Facebook appear to be different babies, others wrote on her page. Other people pointed out that there are 16 ounces in a pound, so it didn't make sense that her baby was 7 pounds, 22 ounces.
First published on August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm