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Couple awarded custody of kidnapped infant By ANN SAGI

BALTIMORE -- A city judge Tuesday officially reunited Avery Norris, an infant kidnapped from his hospital crib, with his biological parents when he awarded them final custody of the child.

Last month, Circuit Judge Joseph Kaplan awarded temporary guardianship of the 2 -month-old baby to Linda and Douglas Norris after the child was found at a Baltimore County home.

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Kaplan granted permanent custody of the child to the Norrises after a second round of medical tests determined there was little doubt he is their child.

The baby, wrapped in a blue blanket, was in the Clarence Mitchell Jr. courthouse downtown with his parents for Kaplan's ruling.

The day after Kaplan granted temporary guardianship, Linda Norris said: 'I was finally able to sleep in peace. For once, after all these weeks, at least I knew where he was. I could sleep in peace.'

The 2-day-old child was taken from his mother's bedside at Sinai Hospital Sept. 21.

A woman dressed as a nurse entered Mrs. Norris's hospital room, chatted with the first-time mother, then took the baby from the hospital.

Authorities found the baby at a Woodmoor home after a woman applied for a birth certificate for an infant she said was born at her home.

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A woman who told police her name is Karlene Wilkinson was taken into custody Nov. 15 and charged with kidnapping.

But federal and local authorities say the woman has used a number of aliases and she was under review for possible deportation to Jamaica for an unrelated incident.

Baltimore County officials said they found out about the child when a woman identifying herself as Wilkinson applied to the county Health Department for a birth certificate Nov. 14.

Officials say the women spoke by telephone to a receptionist at the Health Department to ask about obtaining a birth certificate for a baby born at her home.

The receptionist called city police. Because of the Norris kidnapping, authorities had asked all health departments to alert police when anyone applied for a birth certificate for a home birth.

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