A 19-year-old woman who falsely claimed to be pregnant was arraigned Friday on charges she kidnapped a 3-day-old infant from a hospital after pretending to be a nurse and sneaking the baby boy out of the facility inside a zippered handbag, police said.
The newborn was found with the kidnapping suspect, Breona Moore (pictured), of McKeesport, about 6 p.m. Thursday and was reunited with his parents unharmed at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC.
Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said Moore quickly became a suspect after the baby’s kidnapping early Thursday afternoon. That’s because Moore’s family contacted police after hearing media reports to say Moore had told them and made Facebook posts that she was pregnant. Moore’s build apparently made her claims at least somewhat credible, as a criminal complaint lists her at 5-foot-4 and 230 pounds, but Stangrecki said her family doubted the claims enough to call police as soon as they heard of the kidnapping.
Moore, wearing hospital scrubs she bought from a store nearby, entered the hospital Thursday and was seen loitering by one employee who noticed she didn’t have an identification badge and asked Moore whether she was coming on duty or just leaving. Moore told that employee she was getting off duty, the police complaint said.
When another employee saw Moore near the baby’s mother’s room, Moore pretended to be the sister of the baby’s mother, Rhonda King, and that she was waiting to drive her sister home. After the other employee left, however, Moore followed a discharge nurse into King’s room and appeared to the baby’s family to be a nurse’s aide.
The discharge nurse removed the security wristbands from King and the baby, who were preparing to leave the hospital, then left. That’s when, police said, “Moore approached King and took the baby from King and told her that one more physical test needed to be conducted on the baby and that she would return Bryce right away.”
Instead, Moore went to a secluded area of the hospital and put the baby in a red zippered cloth handbag and left the hospital.