Africa

S. African woman found guilty of kidnapping baby in 1997

Police investigation revealed that woman had posed as maternity ward nurse examining the pregnant mothers

10.03.2016
S. African woman found guilty of kidnapping baby in 1997

South Africa

By Shu’eib Hassen

CAPE TOWN

 A South African woman was found guilty Thursday of kidnapping a baby from Groote Schuur Hospital almost two decades ago in Cape Town.

Two days after Celeste Nurse gave birth to Zephany, she awoke in the hospital in horror to discover that her baby girl was missing, apparently stolen from her arms.

The police investigation revealed that a woman had posed as a maternity ward nurse examining the pregnant mothers and their babies as potential captures.

After 18 years of sad birthday celebrations in honor of the missing and three heart-wrenching instances of false hope, Celeste’s second daughter, Cassidy, attending a new school, was rumored to bear an uncanny resemblance to another student.

Cassidy’s father heard of the resemblance and immediately arranged a meeting between the two. Police proceeded to investigate and were assured via DNA testing that Zephany was the child abducted in 1997.

The state argued in court this morning that the 51-year-old female suspect was a danger to society. She was found guilty of fraud and kidnapping. All demands for bail were dismissed and the accused was immediately sent to prison.

Local News24 reported Judge Hlope as saying: “It is clear from the evidence that the biological parents did not give you any permission to remove the child. According to the evidence, you must have been the person who removed the child from the hospital.”

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 30. She faces up to 10 years in prison. The accused cannot be named in order to protect the kidnapped girl according to local media.

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