Thu, 06 Jan 2000

Infant abducted from hospital

JAKARTA (JP): A 28-day-old infant, Sandi Novari, was abducted from Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, where his parents had taken him to register for a healthy infant competition.

Sandi's father, Hasan, 30, a resident of Jl. Tanah Tinggi in Johor Baru, Central Jakarta, said an unknown woman visited his home last Tuesday evening and urged him and his wife, Nurdiana, to enroll Sandi in the competition.

"The woman knocked on our door and asked if we had a baby. Then she urged us to participate in the competition because there were many interesting prizes we could take home if Sandi won," Hasan said at Central Jakarta Police Headquarters.

Hasan, a scavenger, said the woman then accompanied him, his wife and their baby to Matahari department store near Pasar Senen to buy instant milk and a bottle for Sandi.

"Sandi had a small fever at the time. The woman said the milk could make him better.

"The woman didn't tell us her name, saying that she didn't bring her identity card. But she promised to meet us at the hospital's emergency room at 9 a.m. the next day," Hasan said.

The woman, who wore a black long-sleeve shirt, trousers, black high-heel shoes and a brown jilbab (scarf), asked Hasan to wait in the emergency room while she took Nurdiana and the baby to the maternity ward.

Nurdiana said the woman then took the 3.2-kilogram Sandi and asked her to wait for them in the lobby of the maternity ward. "She carried my son and entered the elevator. She said she would take him upstairs to enroll him in the competition."

After waiting for two hours, Nurdiana panicked. She located her husband and the couple then searched for the woman and their baby.

Hospital security guards assisted the couple in their fruitless search, and told Hasan to report the incident to the police.

Hasan said he was hopeful the police would be able to locate the woman and Sandi. "There was no healthy infant competition at the hospital. We lost our baby for some not so valuable prizes." (01)