Kidnapped Baby's Granddad Offers Thanks For Prayers
March 12, 2007 at 7:15 PM CDT - Updated July 1 at 8:40 PM
The family of a 5-day-old girl abducted over the weekend made its first public statement Monday as the woman police suspect kidnapped Mychael Dawodu waived extradition to Texas, a prosecutor said.
Mychael's parents asked the baby's grandfather, Darrell Darthard, to make a brief statement at a hospital news conference, but other family members did not entertain questions from the media.
"We're just happy to have her back," Darrell Darthard said as his daughter, 20-year-old Caisha Darthard, sat next to him, holding Mychael in a fuchsia blanket. Mychael wore a tiny white bow in her hair.
"We would like to thank God and all who prayed for the family through this ordeal," Darrell Darthard said.
Asked to make a statement, the newborn's father, Michael Dawodu, reiterated the grandfather's remarks. Darrell Darthard said the family members' reticence didn't mean they weren't grateful.
"We just want some privacy with the family and to spend some time with [Mychael]," he said.
Meanwhile, Rayshaun Parson, whom police have arrested in connection with the kidnapping, waived extradition from New Mexico to Texas, said Curry County, New Mexico, District Attorney Matt Chandler.
Parson is in the Curry County Jail and will be transported to Lubbock, Texas, within 10 days, Chandler said. The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office will be in charge of her transport.
Police found Mychael early Sunday in Clovis, New Mexico, the day after authorities said the jaundiced newborn was snatched from Lubbock's Covenant Lakeside Hospital by a woman posing as a nurse.
"The baby looks to be in good condition," Clovis Police Chief Dan Blair said.
Parson, 21, was arrested in Clovis in connection with the alleged kidnapping. Clovis is 100 miles northwest of Lubbock.
"The motive is still trying to be cleared up," Chandler said. "But Rayshaun was very desperate for a child, and she actually went well over 100 miles to get that child."
Parson faces an aggravated kidnapping charge in Texas, but Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens said that will be weighed against any possible federal charges.
FBI Agent Lori Bailey in Dallas told The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the agency is considering filing federal kidnapping charges. (Watch how the newborn was found)
Police allege that Parson went into the mother's hospital room Saturday, "told the family they needed to take the baby for some tests and then left the room," Hudgens said.
There is no indication that Parson had any ties to the baby's family, Hudgens said.
The infant was wearing a security bracelet, which the hospital places on all newborns, but it was removed during the alleged kidnapping, Covenant's senior vice president Gwen Stafford told CNN.
In remarks to the Lubbock newspaper, Stafford conceded that hospitals need to "do better" when it comes to security but said the kidnapper may have benefited from inside information.
"This individual was pretty sophisticated or at least knowledgeable of what happens at health care institutions," Stafford told the paper, adding that the impersonation of a medical worker made the situation more difficult. "But that's no excuse. We've got to do better."
Security cameras showed a suspect -- wearing medical scrubs and a bulky winter coat with a fur hood -- walking through the hospital and getting into a Dodge pickup outside the hospital. (Watch the security camera footage)
Lubbock police received a tip early Sunday that a woman matching the Amber Alert description had been spotted in Clovis, Hudgens said. Lubbock police called Clovis authorities, who recovered the child about 3 a.m.
Parson was arrested near the home where she had apparently dropped off the infant, Blair said.
Parson has had run-ins with the law before. Most recently, she was charged with fraud in January 2005, but the case was dismissed in July, according to court documents.
In May 2004, a protective order was issued against her in a domestic dispute involving a boyfriend, according to New Mexico online court documents.