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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

WALKER, La. - As a woman fights for her life in the hospital, there are still visible signs the unthinkable happened at her Livingston Parish home.

Deputies continued to interview people at the home in Walker a day after they arrested Jeffrey Reynolds, 31. He is accused of slashing his wife's throat and cutting their unborn child out of her abdomen with a kitchen knife. Deputies found the baby dead inside the home with a large laceration to the head.

Paula Reynolds, 28, was seven and a half months pregnant. At last check, she was in critical condition.

'It's just a shock to the heart, to the soul,' said neighbor Deborah Oubre. 'It's painful to think about, it really is. To think that that poor woman went through that and that little baby doesn't have a chance now and he took that. That's something that never can be replaced.'

The horrific crime has rocked the quiet, rural community to the core.

'It's still fresh in everybody's mind,' said neighbor Ana McDonald. 'It's still fresh in my mind. I have a child. I can't imagine that happening.'

Reynolds was howling when he was arrested Tuesday, said sheriff's officials, who continue to investigate a motive. Neighbors said there were no red flags.

'They weren't rude. There was never like any fighting or yelling or anything. We had seen them out there playing with their other child,' said McDonald.

Officials confirm the Reynolds' have a 6-year-old son who attends first grade in the Livingston Parish Public School District. A district spokesman would not say which school, but said the district provides extra counselors in cases like this at a school's request.

Neighbors saw Jeffrey Reynolds with his son hours before the attack.

'When he was putting his child on the school bus, he was just like, 'Hey,' you know, a happy, normal person,' said McDonald.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office said Reynolds had no criminal record in that parish, except for a minor traffic citation. They are still investigating whether he has a record elsewhere.

Reynolds' family members, some of whom live nearby, were too distraught to comment. Meanwhile neighbors say they're praying for an injured mother and a child who never had a chance.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office believes the results of a toxicology report will shed light on a motive. They have placed a rush order on the results, and expect preliminary information could be in by early next week.

The coroner performed an autopsy Wednesday, but so far is not releasing the unborn child's official cause of death until the investigation is complete.

Bond has been set at $500,000.

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