A 23-year-old woman charged with posing as a nurse and trying to snatch a newborn from her mother at Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley allegedly tried the same thing in another room of the same maternity ward, authorities said Friday.
Jesenea Miron of Moreno Valley was charged earlier this week with kidnapping, child stealing and a sentence-enhancing allegation of depriving a child of its parent.
Miron pleaded not guilty during an arraignment before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Koosed, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 26 at the Riverside Hall of Justice and ordered Miron held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Fransik, about 10:30 a.m. on July 14, Miron accessed the medical center campus on Cactus Avenue and identified herself as a newly hired nurse, enabling her to enter the maternity ward.
Fransik alleged while on the ward, Miron entered a room occupied by a woman and her infant daughter, identified in court documents only by the initials “Z.B.” The defendant introduced herself as a nurse, according to Fransik.
“While inside the patient’s room, she attempted to take the newborn,” he said. “The suspect was confronted by hospital staff, who then notified security.”
Court documents indicated that the baby was briefly in the defendant’s possession but was not removed from the hospital and was not harmed, nor was the mother, whose identity was not released.
Miron fled before deputies assigned to the medical center could apprehend her. However, detectives followed up and were able to procure evidence confirming her identity, according to Fransik. She was later arrested at her residence, on Weber Avenue.
Fransik said that after the initial investigation was complete, deputies received word that a different mother and newborn had allegedly been targeted within the same unit.
“A female posing as a nurse entered a different patient’s room,” he said. “The female, whom the mother believed to be a nurse, picked up her newborn baby and offered to take the infant to a medical appointment. The mother declined and the female left the room without the baby.”
The sergeant said that the intruder was ultimately identified as Miron. Detectives have requested that the District Attorney’s Office consider adding another kidnapping charge to the criminal complaint against the defendant.
“We are working with the sheriff’s department to investigate how the suspect accessed the patient’s room and interacted with the family,” hospital CEO Jennifer Cruikshank said last week. “Our security protocols have been reviewed and reinforced, and we have additional sheriff’s deputies on campus.”
She credited her “vigilant staff” with preventing the first reported abduction.
A possible motive for Miron’s alleged actions was unknown. She has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.