Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Quebec police find day-old baby kidnapped from hospital

Mélissa McMahon and baby Victoria are shown in a Facebook photo.

FACEBOOK

Police in Quebec have found a day-old baby who was kidnapped from a hospital maternity ward Monday night.

Provincial police issued an Amber Alert just after 10 p.m. saying a newborn baby was taken from a mother's room by a woman posing as a nurse in Trois-Rivières hospital. The alleged abduction took place just after 7 p.m., police said.

By 10:30 p.m., television cameras captured a police officer carrying the baby back into the hospital after several frantic hours of searching. Officers also had a suspect in custody.

Story continues below advertisement

The Sûreté du Québec said a woman in her 30s dressed in burgundy nurse scrubs walked into the hospital maternity ward and walked out 12 minutes later with a day-old, six-pound baby.

The woman approached a mother "under false pretenses" to take the baby, according to police.

Police released a photo pulled from a security camera of a 5-foot-4, 130-pound woman with shoulder-length brown hair.

The public was asked to watch for a red Toyota Yaris with a "baby on board" sign in the rear window.

The baby was taken from the Sainte-Marie pavillion of the Centre Hospitalier régional de Trois-Rivières, police say.

The four teenagers who spoke to reporters as they left the hospital were identified by a local newspaper as Charlène Plante, Mélizanne Bergeron, Charel Bergeron et Marc-André Côté.

"We had nothing to do and we saw [the alert] on Facebook. So we decided to take a drive and look around. En route, we saw the photo and recognized her. We went to her house, saw the vehicle, saw the baby in the house, Mélizanne Bergeron told reporters in Trois-Rivières after meeting with investigators.

Story continues below advertisement

Nursery kidnappings are very rare, particularly since hospital security to protect newborns was ramped up after three Ontario kidnappings between 1991 to 1996.

According to an RCMP backgrounder, a decade passed before another handful of kidnappings led to even tighter security in many hospitals, including electronic monitors attached to ankles or wrists in some jurisdictions.

"The abductors are usually females who really want a baby of their own," said the document prepared by RCMP researcher Marlene L. Dalley.

The paper notes "in most cases the abductor cares for the baby's needs well."

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
National correspondent

Les Perreaux joined the Montreal bureau of the Globe and Mail in 2008. He previously worked for the Canadian Press covering national and international affairs, including federal and Quebec politics and the war in Afghanistan. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.