Abducted baby found after 7 months
A baby who was kidnapped when she was just three weeks old has been found after nearly seven months and returned to her mother and twin sister.
The happy reunion between Zianne and her mother, Riza Garcia, took place on Monday in Victoria, Tarlac, over 160 kilometers away from the fast-food restaurant in Las Piñas City where she was taken.
With the help of a concerned citizen, Las Piñas and Victoria policemen tracked down the kidnapper, 42-year-old Roselle Garcia (no relation to the victim), to her house in Tarlac.
“When I took her from the crib, I knew she was Zianne, my daughter. And she knew it was me, her mother, because she didn’t cry even once,” Riza told the Inquirer.
According to Chief Insp. Romeo Britanico, chief of the Las Piñas police’s women’s and children’s desk, a man had called up Riza and told them where her baby was.
He even sent photos of Zianne whom Riza immediately recognized as her baby.
Suspect faces nonbailable rap
Roselle was arrested by the police and detained in Las Piñas where she would be charged with a nonbailable charge of kidnapping a minor, Britanico said.
Riza also positively identified Roselle, who had identified herself as Natalie Damaso, as the one who took Zianne from her on Sept. 28, 2017.
“I could not forget the face and the voice of the woman who took our child away from us,” Riza said.
The suspect had introduced herself as an employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development when Riza and her mother, Norma, first met her at Las Piñas District Hospital where the twins were to undergo a checkup.
According to Riza, Roselle befriended them and said she could place Zianne and her twin, Zia, under the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
They later went to a fast-food restaurant but the suspect disappeared with Zianne as they were ordering food.
During an interview with the Inquirer, Roselle owned up to the crime, saying Zianne reminded her of her own daughter who had died just days before the kidnapping.
“I was afraid that my husband would leave me if he found out that our child had died,” she explained.
Plea for forgiveness
“I just hope that [Zianne’s mother] forgives me. I know what I did was wrong but …,” Roselle said, adding: “My husband already left me with our 9-year-old son. I don’t have anybody. I just want to die.”
Riza, however, was not inclined to drop the case against Roselle, saying: “She’s also a mother. She knows how painful it is to lose your child. I am doing this so that she learns a lesson and people will not emulate her.” —With a report from Jonnabeth Ortega
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