Baby theft

By: Editorial January 07,2016 - 04:34 AM


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In snatching   baby  Prince Niño from a hospital, call center agent Melissa Londres said she was desperate to keep her boyfriend from leaving her.

She was an instant mother for less than two days.

Police traced her location, after photos and videos of the fake “nurse” walking out the hospital with the baby in her arms, spread on social media and news outlets.

The boyfriend, who was also arrested, gave her the cold shoulder.  He said he too was fooled by her attempt to pass off a stranger’s baby as their own.

Many who listened to Londres sob out her reasons in a   radio interview sympathized with the tragic romance.

The young woman  was driven by an intense longing she considered true love.  In the end, the lengths she went to fake a pregnancy and find a baby to live out the lie that she had given birth to a  love child, was her downfall.

Kidnapping is a non-bailable offense.    At 26, her life should just be starting to take off with a career befitting her college education, not spent behind bars. And the young man, her first boyfriend — was he worth it all?

What Londres did, of course, was illegal and the cause of unbearable agony for the infant’s parents.

If the baby had not been found, one can imagine the depth of the loss and guilt Javy and Jonathan Celedania, a married couple of modest means, would have had to bear for the rest of their lives.

They had willingly turned over their 2-day-old baby to Londres, who dressed in  all-white scrubs and a face mask. Who would have thought the “nurse” was a kidnapper?

The government-run  Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) has to share the responsibility for the bizarre case of baby theft in broad daylight.

Its house rules and protocols were flouted by this young woman, who strolled into the premises in disguise, transacted with medical staff and patients, and walked out with a baby in a blanket, past security guards and staff, with no one questioning her lack of an ID and her unusual route from laboratory room to the exit gate with an infant in her arms.  After the “Blue Suede” scandal,  the

VSMMC can ill afford another viral example of unprofessional conduct.

No doubt Londres needs counseling.

But  it  should be noted that the abduction was a well thought-out scenario. She bought the all-white uniform.  She hopped from patient to patient, solicitously asking about their babies.  Twice she picked up an infant, and finding them to be little girls, returned them.  She went hunting for a boy to match a   bassinet of all-blue bedclothes.

Were it not for the CCTV cameras in the hospital, the disappearance of baby Prince Niño would have been a perfect crime.   The parents had turned over the infant to an imposter with a face mask, making her  almost impossible to trace. But with widespread exposure of the images on TV, social media and local dailies, a mystery was quickly solved through alert citizens who matched the face with a young neighbor who suddenly showed up at her rented room with a tiny baby.

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TAGS: call center agent, hospital, kidnapping, newborn, VSMMC

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