- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006

LUBBOCK (AP) — A missing 5-day-old baby was found last night, and police arrested a woman suspected of abducting the child more than a day earlier by posing as a nurse in medical scrubs.

Priscilla Nicole Maldonado was taken to University Medical Center. Hospital spokesman Greg Bruce said the baby was fine.

Police said the infant was found alone in a car seat beneath a carport in 104-degree weather. It was not clear how long she had been there before authorities arrived.

“She’s back into our hands. Everybody’s happy,” Jesse Madrid, the baby’s great-uncle, said. “We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Lt. Roy Bassett said police rescued the child after a caller suggested they contact a man in Lubbock. Police called the man and asked whether his wife had recently had a baby. The man said she had, but his answers had “obvious flaws,” Lt. Bassett said.

Stephanie Lynn Anderson Jones, 33, was being held on kidnapping charges. Detectives were questioning her and her husband.

Mrs. Jones closely matched the description the baby’s family members had provided of the woman who had visited them several times in the hospital last week and disappeared with the baby Sunday after mother and child had gone home, Lt. Bassett said.

Police Chief Claude Jones said the woman was taken into custody as she drove into the apartment complex. He said she led officers to the baby.

Earlier yesterday, police had studied hospital surveillance video and went door to door in a race to find the newborn and the woman who had stolen her.

The woman apparently had blended in with hospital staff in the days before the child’s disappearance and befriended the baby’s mother, Erica Ysasaga.

Nurses on duty at the time said the woman visited the newborn, and police said the baby’s family remembered seeing the woman on repeated visits to the hospital. But no one asked why she was not wearing the correct color of scrubs or why she had no identification badge, officials said.

Nurses from doctors’ offices and other medical facilities often wear scrubs and sometimes visit newborns and their families, Lt. Bassett said.

“From what I understand, they don’t check and identify every possible visitor who comes to the hospital,” he said. “She didn’t make any attempt to take the baby from the hospital and didn’t spark any suspicions.”

In the hospital, the woman led the mother to think she was a nurse by dressing like one, asking questions about the baby and retrieving towels, the family said. When Miss Ysasaga was released, the woman asked for her address; the woman said she had a swing and some clothes for the baby.

“She was concerned all the time about my baby, so I thought she was a nurse,” Miss Ysasaga told KAMC-TV.

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