WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a woman who was charged Wednesday with trying to kidnap a newborn from Garden Grove Medical Center may have tried to commit the same crime in Anaheim last month.
Grisel Ramirez, 48, of Garden Grove, has been charged with one felony count of kidnapping a child under 14 years old and five felony counts of first degree burglary, with a sentencing enhancement for the kidnapping of a child to deprive the parent of custody, Orange County District Attorney’s Office officials said. Her arraignment was postponed to Aug. 31.
Ramirez wanted a child after telling her estranged husband she was pregnant and going to have a baby girl, Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said.
Police say Ramirez was wearing medical scrubs, a visitor tag and carrying a large tote bag with her when she went to Garden Grove Medical Center Monday morning. Ramirez allegedly entered the hospital rooms of four new mothers, asking questions about their babies, including the sex and date of birth.
According to prosecutors, Ramirez entered the room of a woman identified as Jane Doe #5 and asked her to take a shower in preparation for moving hospital rooms. While the mother was distracted, Ramirez allegedly put 1-day-old Baby Doe in her tote bag, left the room and tried to leave the hospital.
The baby’s identification tags set off alarms that alerted hospital staff that Baby Doe was being moved.
After Ramirez’s arrest, investigators determined that the Anaheim Police Department was investigating a similar case that happened at Western Medical Center on July 26. In this case, police say Ramirez, dressed in scrubs and carrying a tote bag, entered the hospital room of at least one new mother, questioning her about her baby’s sex and date of birth. The mother reported the suspicious contact to the hospital and Anaheim Police.
If convicted of the charges, Ramirez faces a maximum sentence of 19 years and eight months in prison.
Prosecutors say they will request Ramirez be held on $1 million bail.