THE 3-week-old baby girl who was kidnapped on Monday from her sleeping mother’s arms.
Durban - A young first-time mother is rejoicing after her 3-week-old baby girl was recovered and reunited with her just hours after being kidnapped.

Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said rigorous police investigations led to the arrest of the alleged kidnapper later the day the child was taken.

Gwala said the 18-year-old Pietermaritzburg mother woke on Monday morning to find her baby had disappeared from the bed they shared.

“She discovered that entry had been gained through a window and reported the incident to police. A case of kidnapping was opened at the Plessislaer police station and transferred to the Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigation,” said Gwala.

She said the baby was found and reunited with her mother that evening.

“The Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit arrested a 32-year-old suspect for kidnapping.

“She appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday. It is alleged that the suspect, who lives close to the victim’s home, had lied to her family and friends about being pregnant, which led to her stealing the infant,” said Gwala.

The mother told the Daily News that her daughter was the family’s third grandchild. The other two - aged 5 and 6 years - were at her home with her when her daughter was taken.

“I’m still shaken. Whenever we are asleep in the house and I hear a noise, I sit up thinking it’s another person inside our home here to take my baby. It was a scary couple of hours while my baby was missing,” she said.

She said it was not just her family who were still reeling after the incident - the community was also still in shock.

She said she had read and heard in the past of mothers who lost babies when strangers asked to hold their babies, but she never expected to have her baby kidnapped from her home.

“I would never have thought that someone would kidnap my baby from my arms. We have never had something like this happen in our area. My baby was sleeping in the same bed as me, right next to me,” said the mother.

She said as first-time parents she and the father of the child were thrilled to have been reunited with the child.

“I thought I was not going to find her alive. When I realised she was gone, all I was hoping for was to at least find her body, but when I heard she was alive I was very happy. With everything going on in the country, I count myself lucky to have found my baby.”

She said the woman accused of taking her baby was a friend of her aunt and someone she knew.

Daily News