Baby’s thief arrested
“WHY did you steal my child?” a vendor angrily asked the stranger who took her three-month-old girl.
The infant, who was kidnapped last November 2 at the South Bus Terminal, was recovered by police last night.
Mother and child were reunited in Camp Sotero Cabahug, Cebu City where police brought baby Ladylove and her abductor, 24-year-old Mary Jane Carizon.
When the mother Maricel Enriquez, 31, arrived at around 8 p.m., she immediately picked up the crying baby to breastfed her.
With the baby still in her arms, she confronted the suspect: “Nganong gidagit nimo akong anak, day (Why did you take away my child)?”
Carizon, who said she just gave birth in November, started crying and repeatedly said, “Pasayloa ko” (forgive me) and “Ganahan lang ko” (I just wanted to).
Earlier Carizon admitted to police that she had taken the infant and planned to raise money by having the infant “adopted” by someone else.
She said her own newborn had a heart ailment and was in the care of relatives in Dalaguete town, southern Cebu.
Security cameras in the bus terminal captured video footage of Carizon holding the swaddled infant and conversing with the mother, whom she had befriended at the terminal on a busy All Souls’ Day’. She had asked permission to stay by the vendor’s stall and play with the baby, while waiting for her husband.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) tracked down the baby to Carizon’s residence in barangay Tayud, Liloan town, north Cebu.
When her live-in partner, Michael Petiluna, a truck helper, arrived at the police camp in Cebu City, he expressed shock that the baby wasn’t his.
She was pregnant the last time we met, he said.
“We kept texting each other so I knew she had given birth in Dalaguete. I really thought that was our child.”
Enriquez, the mother, had been particularly worried because Ladylove, the youngest of five children, had just been released from the hospital because of a lung ailment.
Carizon said she brought the child to her hometown in Dalaguete on November 2 and then to Liloan, where she stays with her partner, on November 4.
CIDG traced the identity of the baby’s thief through a money remittance document of Palawan Express Padala in a bag she left behind at the terminal.
Carizon’s name was indicated as a receiver.
The money remittance branch in Samboan town provided a photo of her. The company takes photos of its customers for record purposes. This was compared with CCTV footage.
Senior Insp. Delfin Bontuyan, investigator, said they located the baby in a small rented room in the Cuyos compound in Liloan town.
When they arrived, Carizon immediately closed the door. Even when police were able to enter, she insisted the baby in the hammock was her own.
“She kept denying it. She said this was really her child,” said Bontuyan.
Police had to cut off the cloth hammock holding the baby because Carizon refused to hand her over. Then the woman was handcuffed and taken into custody.
In the confrontation at the police office, the mother chided Carizon for betraying her trust.
Carizon had asked permission to stay near her stall and play with the baby. She claimed that she was waiting for her husband, a bus conductor.
“Ngano nabuhat man ni nimo nako, day? Gitarong man tika, ngano gidala man nimo akong anak?”asked the mother.
Carizon couldn’t look her in the eye.
The baby’s mother sobbed in anger. Carizon also wept, holding the arm of her boyfriend beside her.
Then Carizon became hysterical when her partner, gestured to leave in disgust. She clung to his arms. He pulled away, but stayed by her side, standing at a distance and then squatting in confusion.
Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, chief of CIDG-7, said kidnapping charges would be filed against the woman.
Enriquez, the mother, said she would pursue the case because “many people thought I was making up a story.”
She had first reported the kidnapping to terminal security guards then to the Carbon police station. When no action was taken, she went to the CIDG.
“Daghan kaayong nagduda nako nga modus daw to nako, pero dako kaayo akong pasalamat nga nakuha jud akong anak. Karon ako jud ni siyang file-lan og kaso aron di na ni niya mabuhat sa lain pa,” she said.
(Many doubted me and thought this was just my modus. But I’m very thankful my baby is back safe. I will file charges so the abductor doesn’t do this to someone else.)
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