(Photo: Twitter/Julie Sone)
Police have finally explained why 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.
Ramirez had told her estranged husband she was pregnant, and then faked the pregnancy, according to Lt. Jeff Nightengale.
"She perpetuated this myth for several months, and they don't live together and don't see each other, so the husband totally believed it," he said during a press conference.
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. "We interviewed [the estranged husband] last night, and he for sure thought was the father of a baby girl. He was upset and devastated that it wasn't true."
There is also an 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.