Colombian police rescue kidnapped 2-month old baby

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Colombian authorities rescued a 2-month-old baby, who was kidnapped by a woman on Monday in Bogotá, in Armenia on Thursday night, September 14.

The baby girl, Maribel Muñoz, was taken by a woman who told her parents, Zenaida Muñoz and Henry López Romero that she belonged to an NGO and could get medical care for the girl inside Hotel Tequendama. The parents, who are displaced people, went to Caracol TV network in order to report the kidnapping.

Surveillance recordings from the hotel and the city's bus terminal helped with the search. The woman, described as in her late twenties, of height 1.65 m, and having black hair and almond-shaped eyes, left the hotel with two men and went to the local bus terminal. On Thursday, a taxi driver told the media that the day before, he had driven a woman with those features to Cedritos, a neighbourhood in northeast Bogotá.

Finally, on Thursday night, the kidnapper, Esmeralda Echeverri Castaño, was taken into custody in Cali. She confessed that she had abandoned the baby in a hotel in Armenia, where Maribel was finally found and moved to a hospital. The doctors found the baby to be in good health.

Maribel's parents, who live in a modest house in Usme, south Bogotá, recognized the baby on Friday early morning, thanks to a digital picture sent from Armenia to the police in Bogotá. The child was returned to her parents at 11:30 a.m. (16:30 UTC) on Friday.