TAMPA – Federal authorities arrested a local doctor’s son, whom they say tricked his pregnant girlfriend into taking an abortion pill, killing their unborn child.
John Andrew Welden, 28, is now facing first-degree murder and interfering with interstate commerce charges.
According to a federal arrest affidavit, Welden swapped out his girlfriend’s antibiotics with abortion pills, specifically Cytotec.
“I was never going to do anything but go full term with it, and he didn’t want me to,” explained Remee Lee, 26, Welden’s now ex-girlfriend.
On Easter Sunday, Lee went to an area hospital complaining of severe cramping and excessive vaginal bleeding. Doctors told Lee her unborn baby no longer had a heartbeat.
Lee also brought along a bottle of Amoxycillin, an antibiotic. But when doctors examined the pills, they told her they were abortion pills.
“He came to my house with the pills, his weapon of choice,” Lee recalled.
Lee said when she learned she was pregnant, Welden took her to see his father, who is an obstetrician in Lutz. A sonogram and blood test confirmed Lee was six-weeks pregnant.
The next day, Welden called his girlfriend with bad news. Her blood test apparently showed she had a bacterial infection and she would need to take Amoxicillin to clear it up.
On Good Friday, Lee said Welden showed up at her Tampa home with a care package that included the bottle of antibiotics. The label said the pills were A moxycillin .
“He told me to keep taking them. I was supposed to take three a day for days,” she recalled of Welden’s instructions.
Lee told ABC Action News she did not call her boyfriend’s father to confirm she had a bacterial infection or that she needed to take the medication. Lee believed Welden was the love of her life and said she had no reason to not believe what he was telling her. She said Welden’s father also never followed up with her after her initial visit.
Lee met Welden last year and described their relationship as love at first sight.
“He was my everything and more,” Lee explained.
Thinking wedding bells were in their future, Lee said learning she was pregnant back in February was elating and a blessing.
“Everyone dreams of becoming a mom. This was my chance,” she said.
According to a civil lawsuit filed by Lee’s attorney Wednesday afternoon, Welden acknowledged he was the father of the unborn child but pleaded with Lee to not go through with the pregnancy.
At that point, Lee claims she vowed to do everything in the best interest of her baby including not drinking caffeine and making sure she wasn’t around anyone who smoked.
“He used this pregnancy as my Achilles heel. He knew I wanted to do what is best, so that is why I took [the pills],” Lee said.
FBI agents said Welden admitted to switching the pills and even scratched off any identifiers on the pills so Lee wouldn’t suspect anything.
Lee is seeking a minimum of $15,000 in punitive damages and her suit cites battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress by Welden.
Gil Sanchez, who represents Lee, said Welden worked at his father’s officer and even had his own biography page on the office’s website. The biography states that Welden, who goes by the first name Andrew on the site, is a manager at his father’s weight loss center which is adjacent to his OB/GYN office.
Welden’s biography states: Andrew, our Lutz office manager, has studied in the areas of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis. He is currently working towards a degree in sports medicine. With a background immersed in athletics he has pursued his passion to help not only those striving for weight loss, but those interested in overall fitness. He enjoys working with each patient individually in every aspect of the weight loss program. He is always available to answer questions you may have.