Hospitals ready to protect newborns from kidnappers
A Southern California woman allegedly kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital to try to convince her estranged husband that she had given birth. Grisel Ramirez was caught when a monitor on the baby triggered an alarm at the hospital.
Police say Ramirez was caught on camera walking into the Garden Grove Medical Center wearing scrubs and posing as a nurse.
Lt. Jeff Nightengale of the Garden Grove Police Department said, “We think she went up to the fifth floor, and that’s where she walked into the room, told the mother that the doctor was on her way in to see her, why don’t you take a shower or something to that effect. The mother got up, went into the shower and when, that happened, she took the newborn and put her inside the tote bag.”
Sensors attached to the baby alerted employees when Ramirez tried to get out the door of that floor.
Lt. Nightengale said, “It locks the door, it prevents anybody from leaving the floor and, from what I was told by investigators, she made it to the door.
She’s trying to get through that door and the electronic security locks had engaged and the employees had come over and stopped her and held her there. (REPORTER: So it’s like a lockdown?) It is basically a lockdown but the system, it’s an amazing system. From what I understand, it’s a very small bracelet that’s placed on the child the child has no discomfort.”
Denver metro area hospitals would not talk about the specifics of their security systems, as to not give away any secrets.
But they do say protecting newborns is a top priority.
Marcia Teague is the clinical manager for the Women and Family Center at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge.
She said, “we have a very sophisticated infant security system. We tell parents about it. If they get to close to an exit, they know an alarm will sound. If something was to happen, the whole hospital is trained to respond.”
They also have badges that allow only certain people into secure areas. Visitors have to be buzzed in, and they have to know the name and room number they are visiting.
Patients say it is a concern, especially after hearing the news of the attempted abduction in Southern California.
Jason Evert and his wife just had their fifth baby, this one at Lutheran Medical Center. Evert said, “It’s neat as we have more babies we see the technology develop. Certain things like in this hospital where you can’t pass by a certain point or the alarm will sound throughout the hospital. We felt very safe. It’s not just the technology, but the care of the doctors and nurses.. where we put the baby in the room. We felt very secure as parents when we stayed here.”
Lutheran Medical Center holds drills at least once a year to test their newborn security system.
Marcia Teague said, “If we do a drill, to see the hospital response is just absolutely awesome, everyone coming together to protect our littlest ones.”