• An unidentified woman entered the neonatal ward and allegedly kidnapped the baby
  • Police are looking at CCTV footage to find evidence
  • The search for the baby is underway

In what the police suspect to be a case of kidnapping, a newborn baby went missing from the neonatal ward of a hospital.

The incident took place at Vanivilas Hospital in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

An unidentified woman allegedly sneaked into the children's care unit, picked up the baby and escaped with it, Bangalore Mirror reported.

The newborn's father, who was identified by only his first name Rashid, told the Bangalore Mirror a nurse had brought the baby to him, but took the infant away after two seconds, saying the child had to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Rashid's wife Arshiya had given birth to the baby two days before the incident.

Geeta Shivamurthy, medical superintendent of the hospital said the baby was put on C-PAP, and she was responding well. C-PAP therapy is usually provided to those with breathing issues. The hospital staff had told Rashid his baby was fine.

Following this, Rashid had gone home to change his clothes, while the child's grandmother was at the hospital with Arshiya.

When Rashid returned, he was informed the baby was not on the bed, after which he told his mother-in-law to go to the neonatal ward.

Later, the ward staff told Rashid that one of their relatives named Ayesha had taken the baby. She had signed the register, saying the baby was being taken for feeding, according to the hospital staff. The hospital staff later allegedly blamed the disappearance of the baby on the attendees who came to see the child.

The police was then informed about the disappearance of the baby. The officers went through the footage they had from the main gate of the hospital to identify the woman who took away the baby, a senior police officer told media outlets. However, the CCTV camera near the ICU of the labor was reportedly non-functional.

Several boards, notices and stickers have been put up all around the labor ward asking people to keep a watch out for people who steal babies, BL Srinivasamurthy, assistant commissioner of police, said. It remains unclear as to how the unidentified woman sneaked the baby out of the hospital without anyone noticing. A search for the child is underway.

“It is a rare case and the matter is under investigation,” Srinivasamurthy said.

Representational image. Getty Images/Christopher Furlong