Hours after birth, one baby girl experienced enough action to inspire a blockbuster movie. The newborn girl was abducted by a woman disguised as a maternity nurse, only to be returned hours later thanks to the sharp memory of four Canadian teenagers.
When Melissa McMahon was approached by a nurse asking to weigh her newborn baby, she didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. However, when the baby wasn’t returned, Melissa McMahon and the baby’s father Simon Boisclair learned some devastating news. The “nurse” who had taken 16-hour-old Victoria was actually a kidnapper in disguise, The Week reported. As seen on hospital CCTV, the abductor took the baby to her car and drove off.
Immediately, an Amber Alert was issued in the Trois-Rivières area of Quebec. Local television and social media was flooded with a description of the car. Luckily, the story caught the eyes of four teens who decided to aid in the search efforts. "We were on Facebook," Charlène Plante explained to Canada's CTV. "We just wanted to do something for the night, so we went out to find the car."
As they headed to the hospital, they saw a photo of the kidnapper that the police had released on Facebook. Plante immediately recognized the woman in the photo. The young Quebeckers then drove to where they knew the kidnapper lived, and upon arriving, found the same car that the police had described sitting in the driveway. “The patio door was open. The lights were on. It was clear that she was there,” said Mélizanne Bergeron, another teen involved in the search and rescue, to CBC Canada.
The teen called the police and, thankfully, baby Victoria was found unharmed and returned to her worried parents, who were waiting outside. "It was a beautiful moment," McMahon told CBC. "The police officer cried, the nurses cried, the investigators cried, and all the doctors too — everyone was so happy with the outcome."
Profile of a Newborn Kidnapper
The 21-year-old unnamed kidnapper is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Unfortunately, although these cases of kidnapping newborns from hospitals are rare, they do happen. The typical abductor is a woman who may have miscarried and appears pregnant, The Independent reported. Often, this woman does not live with her partner and hopes that her baby will help mend their relationship. Upon miscarriage, she searches for another baby.
"The cases tend to figure around the break-up of a relationship or a loss of some kind. The woman may even be deluded that she has a baby. She may go through a phantom pregnancy. Some women pad themselves out to please a partner," Anthony Black, former head of the psychology unit at Broadmoor hospital in the UK, explained to The Independent. These women tend to be people who have been let down, usually by a man, or had a devastating experience, such as a miscarriage or conception issues. Thankfully, the women who are part of these kinds of kidnappings will most likely take care of the child like it is their own.