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Mother Makes Tearful Appeal For Return of Her Infant Girl

October 23, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ A woman who says her 5-day-old girl was snatched from her at gunpoint as she was leaving the hospital issued a tearful plea Wednesday for the abductors to return the child to her.

″I want my baby back. I need my baby. I want her. I can’t live without her,″ Francesca Santana, 24, told a news conference in the living room of her family’s apartment.

She begged the abductor to call her.

″I’m going to be waiting. (Call) anytime. It doesn’t matter,″ she said before breaking down.

The Dominican Republic-born woman’s appeal came as police reported no progress in solving that abduction or another involving the disappearance of an infant in a hospital across town.

Mrs. Santana said she had been forced by a gun-carrying ″yellow-haired″ woman to hand over her daughter, Marlene, outside Brookdale Hospital on Monday night.

The previous day, Christopher Morgan, 2 months, was whisked away from his crib in Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was being treated for a stomach ailment. Police reported no leads in that case.

In the Santana case, detectives answering a hot line said they still were hoping for leads to a white car with red lettering in which the abductor fled.

They also said they wanted to hear about any women suddenly turning up with babies.

At the news conference, Mrs. Santana said the woman, aged 25 to 30, approached her in the hospital nursery during visiting hours.

″She said she came to see another baby but liked my baby better,″ said Mrs. Santana.

Later, as she left the hospital with the child accompanied by her two sisters-in-law, the same woman poked a gun in her side and threatened to blow the infant’s head off, Mrs. Santana said.

The woman ordered her and the others to walk in front of her, Mrs. Santana said.

A few blocks away, on a dark, deserted street, the woman took the child and got into a white, four-door car, said Mrs. Santana.

″I don’t know what to think (of the woman), because she was so nice at the hospital, then she was so tough,″ said Mrs. Santana.

She said she telephoned her husband, Juan Thomas Santana, who lives in the Dominican Republic, and told him of the kidnapping.

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