Infant kidnapped from hospital in Texas returned to mother

A newborn baby kidnapped from a hospital by a woman wearing hospital scrubs was found safe about 100 miles (161 kilometers) away, and police had a suspect under arrest.

Four-day-old Mychael Darthard-Dawodu was found Sunday, a day after she was smuggled from the hospital in the woman's purse. She was later reunited with her parents.

"It's a joyous time," Gwen Stafford, senior vice president of Covenant Health System, said at a news conference Sunday. "This has been a roller coaster of emotions."

Rayshaun Parson, 21, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. Federal charges also could be pursued, Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens said.

Mychael was found to be in good condition, Clovis police Lt. James Schoeffel said. She had earlier been reported to be suffering from jaundice, a common complication in newborns in which a buildup of pigment in the blood causes a yellowing of the skin.

The infant was kidnapped early Saturday by a woman posing as a medical worker who walked out with the 5-pound (2.3-kilogram) baby hidden in her purse, police said. Hospital surveillance footage showed a woman wearing hospital scrubs and a hooded jacket walking out of the hospital.

The abductor had gone into the mother's room several times before the baby was taken, saying the baby needed tests, Stafford said.

Phone numbers at Parson's address had been disconnected Sunday.

Newborns at the hospital are tagged with a security bracelet, said Stafford, who did not give details on how the bracelet worked.

"As soon as the baby and this security piece were separated we were alarmed and knew," Stafford said.

"Clearly we need to take security to a higher standard," she added.

Susanne Moore, a former Covenant nurse who had a baby Friday at the same hospital, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper the hospital placed an electronic band on her newborn girl's ankle. She said she was told that if the baby were taken too close to a door or elevator, a sensor would cause the door to lock or the elevator to shut down, reports AP.

If the band were cut off before it was deactivated, the hospital would be locked down, she said.

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