A woman in California is facing felony kidnapping charges after hospital workers allegedly caught her impersonating a nurse and attempting to steal a newborn baby, authorities say.
Jesenea Miron, 23, was arrested after she allegedly posed as a newly hired nurse and entered a unit of the Riverside University Health System – Medical Center where newborns are cared for, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
She is accused of entering a patient’s room July 14, telling them she was a nurse and trying to take their baby, the sheriff’s department said in the release. Hospital staff confronted Miron and alerted security, but she escaped before she could be apprehended, the release said.
The infant was in Miron’s possession during the incident, but she did not leave the hospital with the baby, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Edward Soto told CNN.
Investigators identified Miron and arrested her at a Moreno Valley, California, residence, where they also found “items of evidentiary value,” the news release said.
In addition to one charge of felony kidnapping of a child, Miron also faces a felony child stealing charge, court records show. She has pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $1 million, the records show.
CNN has reached out to John Hale and Miguel Tovar, Miron’s attorneys, for comment.
The hospital is about an hour east of downtown Los Angeles.
Riverside University Health System CEO Jennifer Cruikshank said in a statement that hospital personnel are working with the sheriff’s department to investigate how Miron accessed the hospital room and was able to interact with the patient’s family. Additional sheriff’s deputies were stationed on the hospital’s campus following the incident, and its security protocol has been “reviewed and reinforced,” she said.
“Riverside University Health System – Medical Center has multiple layers of security to protect the safety and well-being of patients and staff, and we’re thankful those systems and our vigilant staff were able to thwart this suspect,” Cruikshank said in the statement.