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Neha Narayan, New Zealand Woman, Fakes Pregnancy Then Attempts To Steal A Baby

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/11/12 07:17 PM ET Updated: 01/12/12 09:31 AM ET

Meet every new parents' worst nightmare (and no, it's not colic): Neha Narayan, a 24-year-old woman from New Zealand, allegedly faked a nine month pregnancy, pretended to go into labor and then tried to steal someone else's baby from the hospital.

Police spokeswoman Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey told the AP that Narayan was arrested after leaving Auckland Middlemore hospital. She was on her way to the parking lot with a baby, where her boyfriend -- who believed Narayan had delivered her own -- was waiting for her.

According to the Telegraph, Narayan was first seen holding a baby who she was "comforting" in the maternity ward. And then later, a hospital staff member handed her another baby, thinking she was the mother.

Luckily, the real parents saw Narayan leaving. They thought the baby girl she was holding was theirs and alerted hospital staff.

A nurse chased after Narayan and asked her to come back inside, Gates-Bowey said, so she did. She was charged with abduction of a young person, but has already been released on bail.

But according to the New Zealand Herald, Narayan's lawyer Heeni Phillips tells a different story. She says her client has been "suffering tragically and psychologically" after losing a baby last year. Phillips explains that Narayan was "holding the baby belonging to another couple for reasons connected to 'her previous predicament with her baby', but there had been a misunderstanding."

And, she adds, Narayan had no intention of running out with a child and offers this explanation:

"She was there with her partner and had gone out to talk to the partner with the baby -- there was a total misunderstanding."

Regardless of her plans, the hospital has admitted that a gap in security allowed this incident to happen. Though spokeswoman Lauren Young said she was "not aware of any other attempted baby-nappings," the hospital took action immediately.

Middlemore Hospital's deputy chief medical officer David Hughes adds:

"The hospital was now conducting a wider investigation of policies and procedures of the clinic and security, which was likely to take several weeks."
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