- A 23-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of trying to steal two infants from a hospital.
- Authorities say she dressed as a nurse before gaining access to a “medical unit where newborn infants were present.”
- The suspect is being held on $1 million bail.
A Southern California woman is facing charges after being accused of dressing up as a nurse and attempting to kidnap a newborn baby.
Authorities in Moreno Valley, a city in California’s Riverside County, were alerted around 10:30 a.m. on July 14 that “a female entered the hospital posing as a newly hired nurse and gained access to a medical unit where newborn infants were present,” a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s press release said.
The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Jesenea Miron, is accused of gaining access to a Riverside University Health System Medical Center hospital room with a patient and their newborn baby and leaving the hospital, located in Moreno Valley, California, with the infant, according to the press release.
Authorities added that hospital staff tried confronting the suspect before alerting security, but she was still able to flee.
The following day, Miron was arrested at her home and booked in Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, California, on a $1 million bail.
Police said “additional items of evidentiary value were also located inside the residence,” but did not confirm what these items were.
The suspect faces one felony count of kidnapping and one felony count of child stealing and is set to appear in court on July 26, according to her inmate booking information.
Child stealing in California is defined as “the intent to detain or conceal that child from a lawful custodian” and is punishable by a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Kidnapping in California is described as forcibly stealing, holding, or detaining any person and is punishable by up to eight years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both, according to Kann Law Office.
Another patient came forward to the police on July 21st alleging that a woman “who the mother believed to be a nurse, picked up her newborn baby and offered to take the infant to a medical appointment,” according to the press release.
The suspect left without the baby after the patient declined her offer.
Authorities did not provide a motive, but the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said infant abductions are rare and typically executed by an individual who “frequently indicates she has lost a baby or is incapable of having one.”
“Riverside University Health System– Medical Center has multiple layers of security to protect the safety and well-being of patients and staff, and we’re thankful those systems and our vigilant staff were able to thwart this suspect … Our security protocols have been reviewed and reinforced, and we have additional sheriff’s deputies on campus. We are also working with the family to address their concerns and ensure their emotional well-being,” CEO of the medical center, Jennifer Cruikshank, told KTLA in a statement on July 15.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment and the Riverside University Health System Medical Center did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Miron was not immediately reachable for comment.