Couple Allegedly Used Life-Like Dolls to Enter Maternity Ward
A woman in Merced, California, has been arrested on trespassing charges after she and an unnamed man allegedly twice tried sneaking into a hospital maternity ward using dolls as decoys.
The woman, identified by ABC30.com as Tonya Whitney Boehs, first tried getting into Merced's Mercy Medical Center's obstetrics unit last Saturday with her male companion. They doted on the fake babies by changing them and posing for photos.
The suspects were turned away by a suspicious security officer who took photos of them carrying the lifelike dolls.
Merced police are investigating if the pair sought to abduct a newborn.
The couple, clutching a diaper bag and carryall, apparently tried again last week Monday. Boehs allegedly wore hospital scrubs, according to ABC30.com, but she aroused suspicion because the outfit didn't match the hospital's uniform.
They also got tripped up by claiming to have a non-existent appointment with an educator and presenting an outdated business card from the center's director.
The intentions of the couple are unclear at this point, but Boehs told ABC30.com that it's all a big misunderstanding.
Bob McLaughlin, spokesman for Mercy Medical Center, said it's the first time he’s heard of someone trying to gain access to a maternity ward with a doll.
Fearing a potential baby abduction, hospital staff alerted police and other area hospitals about the couple and sent photographs of them with their bogus babies.
"They acted like they were real," McLaughlin said. "They hold them and hug them and change their diapers. It’s very odd."