Newborn goes missing in birthing facility
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Officials of Gingoog City are offering a reward to any one who could identify or locate a woman suspected to have taken a newborn infant girl at a puericulture center in the town’s Barangay 16 on Sunday (Sept 1).
Mayor Erick Cañosa and Vice Mayor Pedro Unabia offered raised P15,000 for information on the suspect and missing baby.
Cañosa also ordered police to conduct a search operation in the entire city.
The mayor ordered police to coordinate with neighboring towns and set up checkpoints along the national highway and roads going in and out of the city, said Gingoog information officer Nicole Managbanag.
Police said the infant’s mother Marichu Villegas just gave birth at the puericulture center on Friday (Aug. 30) with only her mother as companion.
Around 5 a.m. on Sunday, Villegas was shocked to find that her baby was no longer by her side. She said she was aware that somebody took the child while she was sleeping but did not stir because she thought it was her mother.
But her mother, who was still asleep, was bot the one who took the child.
Police said a woman, between 57 to 63 years old, wearing a face mask, a black jacket and a pair of brown shorts, entered the puericulture center around 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Col. Ariel Pontillas, Gingoog city police chief, said witnesses suspected the woman could be the one who took the child.
“People at the center thought the suspect was just one of the clients there. They did not pay her much attention,” Pontillas said.
One of the witnesses, Lemuel Luma, a resident of Barangay Maanas in the nearby town of Medina, Misamis Oriental, told police he was able to strike up a conversation with the suspect later that night but said he could not properly identify her because of the face mask she was wearing.
Another witness, Pamela Solarta, 19, of Barangay Malinao, Gingoog, told police she saw the suspect take the infant and immediately fled the center with the baby./TSB
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