Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- This is a hoax.
A recent warning being shared on social media may alarm some new and expecting parents: supposedly, a woman pretending to be a nurse kidnapped an infant from a hospital in Catonsville, Maryland. And Dodge City, Kansas. And North Platte, Nebraska. And Stuart, Florida.
"This woman impersonated herself as a nurse and stole a 2day old baby boy from a local hospital in (CATONSVILLE)," one such July 12 post says. "She was caught on camera and is on the loose, if anyone sees her please report this to your nearest police station and please share this post so we help the 27year old first-time mother in reuniting with her son!"
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We contacted the Baltimore County Police Department about the Catonsville post but did not immediately hear back. However, it appears that these warnings are hoaxes.
The Dodge City Police Department is among the law enforcement agencies and hospitals that have responded to these claims and reassured their communities that they aren’t credible.
"We have no reports of any baby being taken from our hospital," the department said in a July 14 Facebook post.
The posts feature a photo of a woman in scrubs carrying a newborn. But it’s an old image from another country. In 2016, a woman was arrested and confessed to taking a baby from a hospital in Cebu City, Philippines. Closed-circuit television footage from the hospital captured her walking away with the child.
There was a more recent case of a woman impersonating a nurse and trying to kidnap an infant in the United States, according to authorities in Riverside County, California, but it does not appear to be related to the incident described in this Facebook image. On July 14, two days after this Facebook post was published, a woman entered a hospital there posing as a newly hired nurse, the Los Angeles Times reported. She tried to take the infant and then fled, but was later arrested, the sheriff’s office said.
Posts that recycle an old image from the Philippines and claim that it shows a woman who is currently wanted in the U.S. for kidnapping from a hospital are wrong. We rate them False.
Facebook post, July 12, 2022
Facebook post, July 13, 2022
Facebook post, July 13, 2022
Dodge City Police Department post, July 14, 2022
YouTube, Stolen baby at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, 2016
CNN Philippines, Woman who stole baby: I did it to save my relationship with bf, Jan. 6, 2016
Cebu Daily News, Stolen baby found; suspect claims she gave birth to him, Jan. 5, 2016
Los Angeles Times, Woman impersonated nurse to try to kidnap infant at Moreno Valley hospital, authorities say, July 15, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.