Quebec teens who helped find missing baby hailed as heroes
WATCH ABOVE: Charlène Plante and Mélisanne Bergeron discuss how they recognized the suspect, tracked her down and called police.
TORONTO – Four teenagers in Quebec are being applauded for their detective work in helping police locate a newborn who was snatched from a hospital in Trois-Rivières Monday night.
A woman dressed as a nurse allegedly entered Mélissa McMahon’s room at St. Mary’s Hospital around 7 p.m. and took her day-old baby girl, Victoria.
Police issued an Amber alert and an image of the suspect caught on a hospital security camera was soon all over the Internet.
Mélisanne Bergeron, Sharelle Bergeron, Marc-André Côté and Charlène Plante saw the photo and jumped to action.
“We went on Facebook and saw the news that a baby was kidnapped. We just needed to act… we wanted to find the baby,” Plante told Global News on Tuesday.
Plante recognized the woman in the security image and knew where she lived.
“She was my neighbour… I know her a little bit,” she said.
The teens went to the house where they believed the suspect lived.
The red Toyota Yaris hatchback with a “Baby on Board” sign that police were looking for was parked out front.
They called the police, who arrived within minutes.
“In two minutes they were in front of the apartment,” Plante commented.
Police entered the apartment around 10 p.m. and came out with baby Victoria safe and sound.
“It was amazing… the best image in my life,” Mélisanne Bergeron says.
WATCH: Police return abducted baby to parents at hospital in Trois-Rivières
The group is happy they were able to help find Victoria in such a short amount of time.
“We are very proud,” Mélisanne Bergeron says.
“Thank you to these people, thank you to the security guards who acted quickly and found a picture with the help of the police,” Mélissa McMahon posted to Facebook on Tuesday morning.
“Yesterday, we experienced the worst time of our lives. All of Quebec sent us their support and, three hours later, we experienced the happiest moment of our lives.”
Questions concerning the hospital’s security and how this happened have been circling all day.
Serge Boulard, a spokesperson for St. Mary’s, told Global News, “It’s easy to say afterward that it should be different, but we’re completely in a different mindset today.”
“Hundreds of procedures take place in hospitals every day. It’s an open environment because we welcome people. The challenge for us will be to see how we can evolve our safety features without people losing their experience. This is the challenge for us.”
While rare, this is not the first time a baby has been abducted from a hospital in Canada.
At least eight other cases across the country have been reported since 1991, with a similar incident in Sudbury, Ont. in October 2007.
READ MORE: Canadian baby abductions
In that case a woman pretending to be a nurse took a newborn from the hospital while the mother was distracted. She travelled 300 kilometres to her home before police caught her and safely recovered the baby.
Police have not confirmed the identity of the 21-year-old suspect in Trois-Rivières.
She is currently in hospital undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and is expected to be charged in the coming days.
It is unknown if there is a connection between her and the baby’s mother or father.
-With files from Amanda Kelly
© Shaw Media, 2014