Mumbai Crime: Baby kidnapper pretended to be pregnant for 7 months, reveals probe
After Agripada police track newborn stolen from Nair Hospital in a day, probe reveals that depressed woman got desperate as she was afraid to tell her husband that she could never conceive
The Agripada police, who tracked the woman who kidnapped a newborn boy from Nair Hospital on Thursday, said she had been pretending to be pregnant for the last seven months. The woman, identified as Hazel Correa, was arrested from V N Desai hospital in Santacruz on Friday morning.
The Virar resident told the police officials that she had picked up the infant from Ward no. 7 of Nair hospital on Thursday evening while his mother, Sheetal Salvi, was asleep. "The woman first chit-chatted with the other patients and while talking she spotted Sheetal and her baby asleep," an officer from Agripada police station said.
Salvi said that the woman had first come and sat at her bed pretending to be a relative and later chatted with the other patients in the room to prevent them from wondering who she was.
CCTV grab of Hazel Correa rushing out of Nair hospital after kidnapping the infant
"When the patients were busy chatting with their relatives, the accused picked up the sleeping baby and put him inside a black bag she was carrying," the officer said. She then immediately came out of the ward and took the elevator to the ground floor. After coming out of the hospital, Correa took the baby out of the bag and flagged down a taxi.
Meanwhile, when Ramesh Salvi, the baby's father came to meet his wife, he could not find the baby anywhere. He then informed the security guards outside the ward, who informed the Agripada cops. Abhijeet Sakpal, Sheetal's brother-in-law said the hospital had upped its security after the incident. "If they had done it before, the kidnapping would never have happened," he said.
Inspector (Crime) Kishore Shinde, Assistant Police Inspector Nagesh Puranik, Police Sub-Inspector Arjun Kudale, Yasmin Mulla and Sable formed a team under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Agripada Division) Deepak Kundal.
"After reaching the ward, we questioned the other patients in the ward who told us that a well-built woman in a blue kurta had come to the ward. We checked CCTV footage but could only spot a bag with her, and no baby," another officer said.
"But, to rule out the involvement of the woman, we tracked footage of her coming out of the hospital and getting into a taxi. When she opened the bag and took the baby out, we were sure she was the kidnapper, " the officer said.
A team was deputed to track the route of the taxi, and others informed all the hospitals and police stations about the abduction and shared footage and screenshots of the woman.
Meanwhile, around 11.30 pm, a message came from the Vakola police station that a woman with five-day-old boy had just been admitted at VN Desai hospital, Santacruz.
The Agripada cops have arrested Correa under IPC section 363 (kidnapping) and 370 (human trafficking). She has been remanded in police custody till June 17.
Inputs by Swarna Srikanth
Pretending to be pregnant
Hazel Correa, the accused, was interrogated by Agripada cops who claimed she has stolen the infant as her husband had been forcing her to have child. "The woman is a divorcee and already has two children from her first husband. She had remarried in 2017 and had been trying to have a baby but had failed every time. In October 2018, when she missed her periods, she told her husband that she was pregnant. Her husband was overjoyed on hearing the news," an officer said. "But when Correa went to confirm her pregnancy at a clinic, they told her she could not have a baby as her body had undergone some hormonal changes," added the officer. Correa did not tell her husband and continued to pretend she was pregnant until Thursday.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Heartbreaking crimes against babies in Mumbai!