The police are now investigating the possible existence of a baby-stealing ring after recovering an infant that had been snatched from Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) last month.
While the parents of the baby boy were overcome with joy, head of the Kingston Western Police Division Superintendent Howard Chambers told reporters at his Denham Town office in Kingston that the nature of the case has opened a can of worms.
“Our investigation reveals that there was some lapse… and that is why we are saying that we are doing follow-up investigations to see if there is a possible child-stealing ring,” Chambers said.
The baby was snatched from the hospital on January 9. At the time, the 41-year-old mother, Suzzett Whyte, told the Jamaica Observer that approximately 5:00 am she was awakened after having a heavy flow of lochia. Not wanting to wake the mother who was immediately beside her, she said she trusted a woman clad in a denim skirt and a multi-coloured top, who had been standing and looking through the window and who offered to watch her baby while she went to the restroom.
However, Whyte said that when she returned from her shower, only the baby’s hat was left on the bed.
On Tuesday, authorities at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, detained a woman who had gone there with a baby with the intention of having the infant registered.
That same day, Whyte and her common-law husband, Sinclair Hutton, were asked by the Kingston Western Police to do a DNA test to determine whether the baby taken from the woman was theirs.
“Some documents that we found her with, we are checking the location where those documents came from,” Superintendent Chambers explained yesterday after the DNA test confirmed that the baby was the couple’s.
He said the signatures on the Child Health and Development Passport, among other documents that were presented at the RGD on Tuesday, were fictitious.
Admitting that the police suspect that people from other agencies are involved, Chambers said based on the security arrangements at the 128-year-old hospital, it should have been difficult for someone to leave with a baby that does not belong to them.
Alluding to a conspiracy, Inspector Phillip Dodd said the police will be taking a second statement from the hospital workers.
In the meantime, the woman who turned up at the RGD attempting to register the stolen baby is to face an identification parade today.
Yesterday, Whyte and Hutton said their nightmare was over.
“Sometime mi wake up and say a wonder if this is real; if someone can really come and take away your baby like that,” Hutton said as he sat in the reception area at the police station.
“Bwoy, mi a say somehow we a go find him, enuh; mi never give up hope, and father God deh deh wid wi. Wi pray, wi fast, wi get prayer from all bout, all over the world enuh, near and far, and wi thank everybody — the media, the police dem, especially the CIB (Criminal Investigation Branch), Detective [Morvin] Eillis and him crew,” Hutton continued.
The delighted father said that when he received word of the DNA result he started screaming.
“I said, really? Mi say, yes, is a match! Mi heart [go] bup, bup, bup, bup, bup, bup. Mi nervous and just a shake so. Mi say this real, yeah man, mi feel great, greater than great,” said the father who never had the chance of meeting the baby, his third son.
“Mi can sleep now at nights; mi never use to sleep enuh… Mi feel good man, nightmare gone fi good. Mi give God thanks, man,” he added.
At the same time, the 46-year-old father said the people who accused Whyte of selling the baby will have to eat their words.
Whyte, a woman of few words, said she couldn’t wait to hug, kiss and squeeze her second child.
Yesterday afternoon, when the Observer visited their community, the residents, too, were brimming with joy.
“The whole community glad for her. Some woman couldn’t cope. Mi 100 per cent glad for her. Thank you, Jesus her baby found. Mi no know how Suzzett take it, but me couldn’t take it,” said Sandra Brooks.
Another resident, Kadeion Francis, said: “I feel so good, when I heard that it was the lady baby that was stolen my body run cold. I really feel like cry.”
Yet another resident, Ashley Parchment, reasoned: “Everybody did sympathise with her when they stole her baby. The woman who stole the baby should not come out of jail.”
Some of the residents showed no sympathy for the accused baby snatcher, and made callous remarks as they claimed that the theft of the baby was an inside job.
“Yuh have yuh baby at hospital and yuh go to the bathroom, and when yuh go back your baby missing?” Sherlock Lorraine questioned.