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Parents Glad After Police Crack Stolen Baby Case

October 30, 1987

FORESTVILLE, Md. (AP) _ Theresa Thate could barely help laughing out loud Thursday as she watched her husband Robert holding their son on his first day with them since disappearing from a hospital five months ago when he was three weeks old.

″It feels like we are still in a dream,″ she said.

The baby was taken from a crib at the Prince George’s Hospital Center last June and was recovered Wednesday by Prince George’s County police following tips that led them to Southeast Washington.

The first tip came Oct. 11 from a District of Columbia firefighter who became suspicious while on a apartment fire call when he saw two black women leaving the building with a white baby, said Capt. Tony Leo, commander of the county criminal investigations division.

The firefighter, D.C. Derner, had that day read a newspaper article about the baby’s abduction.

The second tip came from an anonymous caller to the crime solver’s unit on Oct. 19, said Leo.

″The two tips identified the same location,″ he said. ″And police followed up on them as they had on several hundred others.″

Officers went to an apartment shared by Linda Fay Stancil, 34, and her mother, Lillie Rose Baynes, 50, at 3 p.m. Wednesday and asked if there was a baby there.

″Stancil, who answered the door, told the officers ‘no, there are no babies here,’ but the officers heard a baby cry and questioned Stancil about it,″ said Leo.

She told them it was a baby girl that belonged to a friend, said Leo.

″She went and got the baby and it was dressed in girl’s clothes, but the officers insisted that they determine for themselves the sex of the baby,″ he said.

When they discovered the child was a boy, the officers asked the women to go with them for questioning.

″They came freely,″ Leo added.

Police were hesitant to discuss specific details about the two women or what evidence they have against them, ″prior to prosecution.″

However, ″it appears to be a crime of opportunity,″ said Leo.

He said Stancil had apparently gone to the hospital looking for a job on June 11 where Jeremiah, who was three weeks old at the time, was being treated for pneumonia.

He disappeared from a crib in the pediatrics ward while his parents were at the hospital canteen getting something to eat.

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