Alleged baby snatcher pretended to be pregnant - child's father

2016-03-01 21:15
Little baby Sergio Strydom sleeps peacefully after he was returned to his parents. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Little baby Sergio Strydom sleeps peacefully after he was returned to his parents. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – A teenager accused of abducting a newborn baby boy from Worcester hospital allegedly told her mother she had given birth to him, the baby's biological father claimed on Tuesday.

"The mother thought it was her daughter's own child. The 17-year-old pretended to be pregnant," Gerald Strydom told journalists after the teen's appearance in the Worcester Magistrate's Court.

His son Sergio was 10 days old when he was snatched on Thursday.

Strydom, 31, said a young woman introduced herself to him and his girlfriend, Juanita Muller, in the maternity ward that day.

He said she claimed to have had a miscarriage and asked whether their baby had a name.

Strydom said she told them where she lived. They denied her request to hold Sergio and show him to a relative.

"She was very attractive, neat head to toe, and so friendly," recalled Muller, a mother of four. Before they knew it, their baby was gone.

Holding onto his sleeping son in their Roodewal home, Strydom explained that he remembered the young woman's address after the disappearance. He asked police to accompany him there.

Relief and joy washed over his face as he recounted how they had found his son at a home in Ashton on Sunday.

Mom did not know

"Die ma het blykbaar nie geweet nie (The mother apparently didn't know)," he said.

Continuing in Afrikaans, he said he had confronted the teen.

"I told her, 'I don't know the reason why you took my child, but I trusted you. I left you with my 'wife' in the room but you stole my child'."

Police arrested the 17-year-old and a 42-year-old woman on Sunday.

The older woman was released on Tuesday morning due to a lack of evidence, senior prosecutor Charlene Mostert told journalists.

The teenager appeared in camera because she is a minor.

She would remain in a place of safety until her next appearance on March 24.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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