A California woman has been charged with kidnapping after stealing an infant from her mother's hospital room. Grisel Ramirez, 48, allegedly changed into scrubs and posed as a nurse in order to gain access to the infant, but was stopped before she could leave the hospital.
"At this point we don't have a solid reason why she stole the baby," Lt. Jeff Nightengale told reporters during a news conference. Thankfully, an alarm went off before Ramirez could leave the hospital with the newborn, whom she had placed inside a duffel bag.
Ramirez disguised herself as a nurse and reportedly told the mother to take a shower before the doctor came to examine her. When she left the room, Ramirez took the infant, placed her in a duffel bag, and tried to escape. An alarm deterred her, and hospital personnel were able to retrieve the infant.
"The hospital staff reacted as they should," Nightengale said.
The baby girl was immediately returned to her mother and was not harmed by her time in the duffel bag. Now police are working to learn more about Ramirez and why she would do such a thing.
There is also the unsettling possibility that Ramirez has done this before and California authorities are working with local law enforcement agencies to track down any other cases that are similar to Ramirez's. Officials are also investigating whether or not Ramirez is a legal United States citizen.
"She's lived in the U.S. for 20 years, but we don't think that she's a legal resident of the country," Nightengale added. The charges brought against her could lead to deportation if it is found that Ramirez is in the U.S. illegally.
Hospital abductions are rare and have slowly tapered off thanks to new innovations such as electronic bands that trigger alarms and provide more accurate monitoring of infant locations.