Theft of baby in Cebu: Cops say it’s case of obsession
CEBU CITY—A woman’s obsession for her boyfriend drove her to steal an infant from a government hospital here.
An apologetic Melissa Alilin Londres, 26, told police that she was forced to steal a baby from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) to stop her boyfriend from leaving her.
Londres, 26, was arrested around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the house of her boyfriend, Philip Winfred Almeria, 25, in Sitio Fatima, Barangay Lahug in Cebu City.
Police found the four-day-old baby, Prince Niño Celadenia, in the house. The baby was reunited with his parents, Jonathan and Jayvee.
Kidnapping charges would be filed against Londres, who was identified by Jonathan as the woman who approached his wife at the hospital ward on Monday noon and pretended to bring the baby to the laboratory room for dengue vaccination.
The woman and the baby disappeared, triggering a manhunt.
During her arrest, Londres initially claimed that the baby was hers but later admitted that she stole the infant to support a story she told her boyfriend that she was pregnant.
Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG), said the relationship between Londres and Almeria had been rocky.
The couple had a spat that prompted Londres to leave Almeria’s house.
But Londres, who suffered a miscarriage before, didn’t want a breakup so she told her boyfriend that she was pregnant.
“She would put something on her tummy under her blouse so her boyfriend would believe that she was indeed pregnant,” said Tayaba.
Londres’ script was well laid out, said Tayaba.
Londres filed a maternity leave in December from the call center company she was working in. She also started buying baby clothes and products.
On Jan. 2, Londres was seen buying white scrubs suit.
The next day, she met Almeria and told him that she had given birth to a boy.
The script worked initially but one thing was lacking—a real baby.
First attempt foiled Londres’ first attempt to steal a baby, at a maternity hospital on Jan. 4, was foiled. She went next to VSMMC. While choosing which baby to steal, she bypassed two baby girls to be consistent with her script that she had a baby boy.
She saw Prince Niño and found her baby.
Londres was caught after a neighbor recognized her in a CCTV footage and tipped police off.
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