A woman posing as a nurse abducted a 3-day-old girl in need of medical attention from a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, police said.
The African-American infant, Mychael Darthard-Dawodu, has jaundice and weighs about 6 pounds, according to the Amber Alert issued by Lubbock Police Department.
The suspect went into the mother's hospital room and "told the family they needed to take the baby for some tests and left the room," said Lubbock Police Lt. Scott Hudgens at a news conference.
Mychael was wearing a security bracelet, but it was removed, said Gwen Stafford, senior vice president of Covenant Medical Center.
"The hospital has a very sophisticated state-of-the-art security system, which is of course backed up with camera surveillance throughout the hospital," she said.
Family members and hospital staff have watched the surveillance video and say they do not recognize the woman, police said.
Stafford said later in a news conference that she would not release details about the mother because of privacy concerns, but the mother was "distraught and devastated, and again, our heart goes out to her."
One of the chief concerns would be the child's nourishment, said Dr. Marc Siegel of New York University's medical school.
"The biggest problem is that babies, within the first three days, need either mother's milk or an electrolyte solution. They can't have cow's milk," Siegel said.
Siegel also said that if they don't get nutrition quickly "there would be a life-threatening problem. Time is of the essence."
Hudgens issued an appeal to the kidnapper: "Please take [the infant] to some place safe, and drop [her] off if need be. That's our main concern right now, the safety of this child."
Police say Mychael could still be with the suspected kidnapper, who is driving a late-model red Dodge pickup truck with black trim and tinted windows.
Another person may have been in the truck when the suspect got in it with the baby, Hudgens said.
The suspected kidnapper has a medium build and was last seen wearing pink nurse's scrubs with purple and blue flowers and a gray or tan winter coat with a fur hood, police said.
She is about 5 feet 3 inches tall, African-American, in her 20s, and her hair is dyed auburn, the Amber Alert said.