A four-month-old baby girl was on Monday kidnapped from a Buxton, East Coast Demerara daycare centre by a teenager who pretended to be an aunt and following police investigations, the suspect was arrested and the infant reunited with her mother last evening.
The suspect who has been identified as an 18 year old Vigilance, ECD resident is in police custody after being detained sometime yesterday afternoon and she is expected to face kidnapping related charges before the end of the week. Relatives of the baby, Miracle Angel Price, called for the heaviest penalty possible to be imposed on the teen.
More than 24 hours after the child was removed from the Middle Walk daycare centre without the permission
and knowledge of her mother Samantha Price, age 34, there are still lingering questions as to what exactly prompted the teen’s actions.
Earlier in the day, a distraught Price had explained at her Buxton Embankment Road that she had been given the number for the centre for the placement of her child which she later called. She recalled that she was told to make a visit there on Saturday afternoon. She did so and was advised by the owner about the items she needed to bring.
Based on what this newspaper was told, on Monday morning she arrived at the daycare with her child at 9.29 am but was unable to complete a form that was given to her. She said that she indicated that she would fill it out during the course of the day and return it when she came to collect her child that afternoon.
According to the mother of six, she had made arrangements for her daughter and son-in-law to pick up the child but as the time drew close her sister called to say that her son wanted to go and pick up the infant.
Price told Stabroek News that she responded in the negative and after arriving home she changed her shoes and headed to the daycare centre. “When I reach the teacher tell me that Miracle auntie came and pick her up”, the worried woman said. Price said that she knew that could not be true as she had already spoken to her sister and she knew that she could not have collected the infant because she was heavily pregnant and would not have been able to collect her.”I start to get crazy”, she recalled adding that she returned home and subsequently went to the Vigilance Police Station to make a report.
The teen’s identity had apparently been exposed as the teacher recognized her but nothing much was thought about her presence as she was known to the infant’s relatives. The teacher later collapsed after she was told that police needed to question her. She had to be rushed to the Georgetown Hospital for medical attention.
A search for the teen started almost immediately but she could not be found. She was last seen entering a mini bus which was heading in the direction of Georgetown. Price told Stabroek News that the teen was known to her as she had once baby-sat for her and other relatives. She said that she had not seen the teen for about a year when she suddenly turned up at her home. The teen, she said claimed that she had been to Strathspey and a young man there told her where she lived. Price had previously lived in Strathspey but had moved out.
She stated that while the teen’s sudden visit was a bit strange, she welcomed her and they spoke about her (Price’s) son who attends a privately run school in the neighbouring village where she teaches.
Price said that after she learnt that it was the teen who had taken her child, she made contact with her via her cell phone and pleaded with her to return her child. However during the telephone conversation she acted as if she could not hear and when someone else tried she disconnected the call. During the conversation with the second person, the teen had claimed that she did not have the child.
The distraught woman said that she had to be given an emergency C Section surgery to delivery Miracle as they both were in grave danger and were at risk of dying. While this newspaper was speaking to Price she received a telephone call that the teen had been arrested and was being held at the police station. When she arrived she was met by a small crowd of villagers and friends. Stabroek News later learnt that a young man had also been detained after the teen called his name during questioning. It is unclear if he remains in police custody. This newspaper was told that the teen told investigators various stories before informing them that the child was at a house at Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara.
About half an hour after the Price arrived at the station, the teen was bundled into a white traffic patrol car which sped out of the compound. At no time did the ranks at the station engage Price on what was happening and after the police vehicle left, she and the other persons gathered there were asked to leave the compound. A uniformed rank then locked the gate while Price and her relatives stood on the roadway in light drizzle.
Price said that she was refusing to move because all she wanted was to hold her child in her arms again. She spoke of her sleepless night and the anger she felt towards the teen for the pain she was causing her.
Later while still outside the station, the car returned with the teen and the baby inside. She said that when the child was placed in her arms she immediately started searching for her breasts. She said that her daughter did not use bottle and as soon as she latched on she sucked hungrily.
She said that the child was wearing a strange dress but other than what looked like several mosquito bites she looked well. She said that the infant did not cry and slept soundly.
They were later transported to the Georgetown Hospital.
At the hospital the woman held her child close and at one point struggled to hold back tears. She said that she was waiting to see a doctor as a medical had to be done to ensure that Miracle was in good health. She said that the police has since told her that after taking the baby, the teen took her somewhere on the East Bank where she introduced her to the mother of a man she had befriended as her seven month old daughter. Realizing that the baby seemed too small for that age, the woman apparently sent her away and she ended up at a friend’s house at Pouderoyen where she again introduced the child as hers. Price said that she wasn’t given details about how exactly the child came to be found and where.
“I am grateful to all the police who helped me to get my baby back. This is indeed a miracle..”, she told Stabroek News as she cuddled the infant in her arms. She said that at first she though that the kidnapping might be linked to an old family issue but she now believes that the teen just wants to have a baby of her own.
She thanked all the policemen who were involved in her daughter’s rescue and urged daycare operators to exercise greater caution when people come to collect children. “I think that there should be some new system in place where you have to show your ID card”, the woman said.