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Facebook helps recover kidnapped newborn

Facebook helps recover kidnapped newborn
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

It's every parent's worst nightmare.

Melissa McMahon had given birth to a healthy baby girl, only to have her abducted from the maternity ward 16 hours later.

In the abduction, a woman was dressed as a nurse and was taking the baby to be weighed. Instead, she left the hospital with the infant and sped off in her red car, complete with a "Baby on Board" sticker in the back window.

The hospital was alerted to the kidnapping and the woman's photo was quickly found in the hospital's security footage.  The woman's photo and details of her vehicle were detailed in an Amber Alert, which was also posted on Facebook.

The Facebook post caught the attention of four 20-year-olds, who next decided to go for a ride toward the hospital in search of the red car with the "Baby on Board" sticker. Charlène Plante, one of the people involved said:

“We're always heading off somewhere, so we got the idea to go out looking for the car because there wasn't really much else going on that night.”

The group was armed with smartphones and received updates on the alert as they came through.

Once the woman's photo was released, another person involved, Mélizanne Bergeron, recognized the woman as her old neighbor. Bergeron had moved out two weeks earlier.

The next stop was Bergeron's old apartment complex, where lo and behold, they found the red car with the "Baby on Board" sticker.

Plante then called police and passed along the license plate number. Within minutes, police were on the scene and were able to deliver the newborn back to her parents.

“Four marvellous people that we have had the chance to meet identified this woman thanks to Facebook. It's the only reason that Victoria is in my arms right now,” wrote Mélissa McMahon, the infant's mother on Facebook on Tuesday.

“Many thousands of people shared the photograph of this woman on social media without giving up. Know that this is what saved our little Victoria ... Each click, each ‘share’ made the difference.”

 

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