Baby Kidnapped from Texas Hospital Back with Mother

Hospital's surveillance video helped provide details


A woman arrested in New Mexico on suspicion of snatching a newborn from a Texas hospital waived extradition Monday, while the tiny girl was back in her mother's arms.

"We're just happy to have her back," the baby's grandfather, Darrell Darthard, said at a brief hospital news conference, thanking police and supporters while her mother quietly cradled the infant in a purple blanket.

Police found 4-day-old Mychael Darthard-Dawodu on Sunday in Clovis, N.M., a day after she was taken from Lubbock's Covenant Lakeside Hospital, about 100 miles to the southeast.

Rayshaun Parson, 21, agreed Monday to be extradited to Texas. District Attorney Matthew Chandler of Clovis said U.S. marshals expected to have her in Lubbock by Monday afternoon.

Federal prosecutors also named her in a criminal complaint filed Monday, alleging kidnapping, court documents show.

According to an affadavit filed Monday morning, a woman called Lubbock police about 10:45 p.m. Saturday and said Parson had told people at an apartment complex in Clovis that she was pregnant, but she "never really was," and that Parson "was now in possession of a baby."

Baby Mychael was taken from her mother's hospital early Saturday by a woman posing as a medical worker who walked out of Covenant Lakeside with the infant hidden in her purse, police said.

Hospital surveillance video showed a woman wearing blue and flower-print hospital scrubs and a gray, puffy jacket with a hood walking out of the hospital around 1:20 a.m. Saturday. She fled in a red pickup truck, possibly with a male accomplice, police said.

The abductor had gone into Mychael's mother's room several times before the baby was taken, telling her the baby needed tests, said Gwen Stafford, senior vice president of Covenant Health System.

FBI spokeswoman Lori Bailey said law enforcement officials received information from more than one source that the baby was in Clovis.

Will Larson, who lives near Parson's home, said he told police he had noticed her with a stroller on Saturday and thought that was unusual.

Phone numbers at Parson's Clovis address were disconnected.

Parson has had dealings with the law before. In May 2004, a protective order was issued against her in a domestic violence incident involving a boyfriend, according to New Mexico online court documents. A call to him was not immediately returned Sunday.

In January 2005, she was charged with fraud, according to the court documents. Information about the disposition of the case was unavailable Sunday.

Covenant Lakeside says it places identification bands on infants and parents immediately at birth and refers to "a number of other security measures" on its Web site.

"As soon as the baby and this security piece were separated we were alarmed and knew," Stafford said. "That's what enabled us to be able to get the visual of the pickup."

"Clearly we need to take security to a higher standard," she said. "We're not going to rest until we take it up a notch, another level. I don't know that we can ever have anything perfect."

Mychael was flown home to her parents, Caisha Darthard and Michael A. Dawodu, after she was evaluated at a New Mexico hospital, Clovis police Lt. James Schoeffel said.


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