July 24--Community Hospital of Anaconda has revised its security protocol after a mother who tested positive for methamphetamine fled with her newborn last month.
Steve McNeece, the hospital's chief executive officer, said he brought in an outside consultant to revamp security policies and procedures. He declined to discuss specifics.
"This was an extraordinary occurrence," McNeece said Wednesday. "Due to the adverse event, we reviewed and are adding additional layers of security."
Michelle Renee Yallup, 29, went to the hospital on June 17 already in labor. Hours after giving birth to a baby boy, she walked down a hallway and fled with the child in an awaiting vehicle, police have said.
"We do allow mothers to walk with their babies in a bassinet," McNeece said.
But Yallup fled the hospital from an exit outside the restricted area where mothers are allowed to walk with their babies.
"The exit is in an area she was not allowed," he said.
McNeece said the hospital has surveillance cameras in place and security guards on duty "including that night."
He also reiterated that he cannot discuss many details of the Yallup incident because of privacy laws and an ongoing criminal investigation.
Law enforcement officers caught up with Yallup in Utah on Monday. The baby was found safe in the back of a motor home.
The month-old baby boy is being looked after by the Utah Department of Family Services. Authorities said he is good condition.
"Our concern all along was the welfare of the child," McNeece said.
Yallup is expected to make her first court appearance next week on a slew of charges that include child endangerment. She will face extradition to Anaconda.
Yallup also is accused of felony forgery for checking into the hospital under her sister's name and skipping out on her $13,338.92 bill.
Police found what they believe was the getaway car in Butte the day after Yallup disappeared. Inside was a shotgun and Yallup's sister, Megan Lynn Runstrom, who was arrested on a probation violation and felony unlawful possession of a firearm. Runstrom is back in jail on an unrelated probation violation hold.
Yallup also faces a felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child out of Anaconda. Prosecutors say she left the hospital with her child illegally and against medical advice. In Utah, she faces charges that include being a fugitive from justice, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and child abuse.
Copyright 2014 - The Montana Standard, Butte