A newborn baby who was allegedly abducted on Monday just six hours after being born at Meanchey district referral hospital in Phnom Penh was reunited with his 18-year-old mother last night after his kidnapper was allegedly identified by neighbors who had heard a radio report describing the suspect’s clothes.
The alleged kidnapper was wearing bright pink and purple pajamas when she allegedly escaped the hospital after telling the baby’s mother, Kov Srey Leak, that she was taking the baby for a bath.
Following the incident, authorities put out a report on ABC radio describing the woman’s clothing and, on Wednesday, a resident in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune, who is a friend of the baby’s grandfather, claimed to have spotted a woman hanging pink and purple pajamas on a clothesline behind her house close to O’bekaoum market.
The color of the alleged kidnapper’s clothing had been reported on the radio announcement.
“My friend lives near the woman and she rang me to tell me she may have seen the suspect so I called my daughter and her husband [21-year-old Chhit Pov] and together we went to the woman’s house to confront her,” the baby’s grandfather, Kov Dan, claimed.
“When we arrived, [my daughter] immediately identified the woman as the kidnapper,” he claimed, adding that they contacted the police who brought the suspect in for questioning.
Hun Sophal, Chbar Ampov I commune police chief, did not provide details on how the baby was found, but said that police had questioned a suspect, who admitted to abducting the child.
Ms. Srey Leak and her husband were reunited with their child a short time later at the commune police station.
“She had given up hope of ever seeing her son again so it was very touching,” said Mr. Dan, the grandfather.
Peou Huot, chief of Chbar Ampov I commune where the family and the newborn child lives, said the suspected kidnapper, Sok Chanthy, 37, claimed to have recently given birth, but the baby had died shortly after being born.
Mr. Huot said police were still investigating the suspect’s claims and could not comment further.