Couple reunited with abducted newborn

March 3, 2010 at 4:28 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 3 (UPI) -- A Florida couple was reunited with their newborn baby after a woman who allegedly abducted the child from their home was taken into custody, authorities said.

The woman, 22, who provided an apparently false name, Tuesday allegedly followed the couple as they left the hospital and posed as a Child Services officer and possibly threatened the Jacksonville parents with police action if they refused to hand the child, 3-week-old Melvin Duclos, over to her, the Jacksonville Times-Union reported.

The parents, Augustin and Madaine Duclos, who are Haitian and have been living in the United States for 11 years, don't speak English very well and may therefore have handed the baby over to avoid trouble. They became suspicious after a few hours and contacted police, authorities said.

Child services agency spokesman John Harrell said a legitimate agency worker would not take immediate custody of a child unless it was in imminent danger. He said the parents have no record of earlier contact with Child Services, so they would not have known the agency's procedures.

"We're very alarmed, very concerned that someone would just walk up to someone's home, identify themselves as a DCF employee and walk off with a child," Harrell said.

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