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Woman accused of enlisting police to try to abduct newborn

November 29, 2018
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Joanna M. Boyd, 39, stands during an initial court appearance Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in North Las Vegas Justice Court. Boyd was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, after Las Vegas police say she tried to enlist officers to back her claim that she was a county child protection official enforcing a court order to remove a newborn girl from her parents' custody. (AP Photo/Ken Ritter)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — A woman is accused of trying to enlist Las Vegas police to back her claim that she was a county official enforcing an emergency court order to remove a newborn girl from parental custody, authorities said.

Joanna Boyd, 39, stood in shackles Thursday before a North Las Vegas judge who ordered her to remain jailed without bail pending another court appearance next Tuesday.

Boyd was not asked to enter a plea, and a public defender who was temporarily appointed to represent her did not immediately respond afterward to messages.

Capt. Nichole Splinter said Wednesday that Boyd told police she wanted to keep the child and that her own children had been taken away, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported . Police said Boyd was a convicted felon in California.

Judge Chris Lee gave prosecutors extra time to file criminal charges that police said are expected to include forgery, attempted kidnapping of a child, impersonating a public officer, unlawful possession of a stun device by a felon and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Boyd was arrested before meeting the girl’s parents after officers who met Boyd at another location became suspicious that she was not driving a county vehicle and didn’t have proper identification on a card on a lanyard around her neck, according to a police arrest report.

Splinter said Boyd communicated with the couple online before allegedly creating mock court and Clark County Child Protective Services documents that officers recognized weren’t real. Included were a phony court order, a “hearing notice” for the parents and a list of allegations justifying removal of the child from their care, police said. The allegations were not specified in the police report.

“The information she got was from Facebook ... posted openly by the parents,” Splinter said.

The vehicle had been reported stolen in San Bernardino County, California, the police report said.

Boyd’s California criminal history was not specified and The Associated Press was unable to immediately match Boyd with prior criminal convictions.

Officer Aden OcampoGomez said Thursday that Boyd listed a Las Vegas address, but investigators weren’t immediately sure how long she had been in Nevada.

OcampoGomez said officers often accompany child protective services employees as a precaution when children are removed from homes deemed unsafe.

County Department of Family Services issued a statement saying that child services employees are required when asked to show identification including their photo, name and title. It said parents should ask for proper identification before trusting a stranger with their children.

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