Many new mothers face different fears as their bundle of joy enters their life and the safety of young infants is often top priority. However, few worry that something as atrocious as kidnapping would happen in a hospital. Thanks to the help of the popular social media website, Facebook, one couple was able to find their stolen newborn within hours.
A 21-year-old woman entered the maternity ward in Trois-Riviérs, Quebec. Wearing a nurse’s uniform to stave off suspicion, she took the baby and drove away in a red car with a “Baby on Board” sign. An Amber Alert was issued, though at the time of the alert, the baby was still nameless, which caused authorities to give her a number when the alert went out.
When the woman entered the hospital under the pretenses of being a nurse, she told the family that the girl needed to undergo routine tests. This allowed her to snatch the baby without raising much concern from the family.
The infant was 16 hours old when she was abducted from her mother, Mélissa McMahon, who quickly took to social media to seek help. The Amber Alert went viral soon after the announcement was sent out by the Quebec police. The newborn was described as wrapped in a blue blanket, while videos and descriptions of the woman and her vehicle were made public.
Four friends were hanging out together on Monday night, when they spotted the Amber Alert post on Facebook. One of the friends recognized the woman as her former neighbor, deciding to drive out to the apartment where the woman resides. The group saw the car parked outside and the patio door open. The group called the police and within minutes, the baby was rescued and the kidnapper was taken into custody.
Just few hours later, the authorities returned the little girl to her worried parents. When the baby girl was returned, the couple thanked the police, the group of four friends, and Facebook for help in search of their tiny newborn.
While police could not confirm details about how the baby was found, they did admit that they received many tips from the public. The kidnapper was hospitalized for evaluation and is on 24-hour police watch. She has not yet met with investigators. Although originally the Amber Alert stated that there was no connection between the baby’s family and the kidnapper, the police can no longer confirm if the woman was a complete stranger.
The hospital from which the baby was taken released a statement where they announced that the incident will be investigated. The circumstances surrounding the incident will be assessed by a team of experts, who will make recommendations should any changes be required. Detailed information from the police report will be part of the analysis.
When the baby was finally rescued, her mother named the girl Victoria, for the victory the girl had with the first big battle of her life. As the mother praises Facebook and all of the people who shared her post, the couple is eternally grateful that their newborn daughter was found safe and sound with the help of so many kind strangers.
By Ivelina Kunina