Search on for Tenn. baby snatched by fake agent - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Search on for Tenn. baby snatched by fake agent

Anthony Carrillo Anthony Carrillo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A newborn snatched from a Nashville home was missing and his mother recovering from stab wounds she said happened when she struggled with the woman kidnapper posing as an immigration agent, authorities said Wednesday.

The mother, 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla, told reporters she had never seen the woman before she showed up at her door Tuesday evening. She said the woman got a knife from the home and stabbed her several times.

"I need my baby back," she said through an interpreter outside Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she was being treated for her wounds and a collapsed lung.

Gurrolla said she did not see the woman take the baby because she ran to a neighbor's home to get help. When she returned, her 3-year-old daughter was unharmed, but her son was gone.

Gurrolla said the woman, she described as a robust white American, did not say anything about wanting to take the baby, who was lying on the sofa.

"She said she was an immigration officer and she was there to arrest her," Gurrolla said through the interpreter.

It was not clear if she was an immigrant, and the cousin who acted as her interpreter said the family did not want to discuss her legal status. It was unclear where the baby's father was.       A tip to police led them to issue an Amber Alert with a picture and description of a 30-year-old woman. They found and questioned that woman near Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday, then said they did not believe she was involved in the case.

Dr. William Dutton said Gurrolla had a penetrating chest wound and her lung had collapsed. He said she also deep stab wounds to her neck, but was in stable condition. He said she still has physical signs that she gave birth recently. He described the birth as complicated but declined to elaborate.

Gurrolla was in a wheelchair, covered by a blanket. Her eyes were bloody and swollen and she had a long scratch on her face.

She said she feels fine physically, but emotionally she "feels a bit sad because of the situation right now and for what the family is going through."

Police said they believe she had her baby at another hospital and there was a blue yard sign outside the home, saying "IT'S A BOY!"

Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said she doesn't know whether the victim was targeted because of the sign. A sketch artist is working to come up with a drawing of the kidnapper's face, and Mumford would not speculate on whether police believe the baby is still in the state.

"We don't have any indication at this point that this is anything but a stranger child abduction," Mumford said. "We're not ruling out anything, but we have no reason to believe that the family is not being completely truthful."

Mumford said police are retracing the mother's activities before the attack, such as a visit to a local Walmart. Police are also in contact with the hospital where the baby was born.

She encouraged people to keep an eye out.

"If you know of someone who has not been pregnant and suddenly she has this baby, that's a really good sign," Mumford said.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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