TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. – A woman is facing two kidnapping-related charges in connection with the abduction of a day-old newborn from a Quebec maternity ward.
Valerie Poulin Collins was charged Wednesday in Trois-Rivières, even though she was unable to appear in court.
Crown prosecutor Marie-Eve Paquet tells reporters the 21-year-old woman is unconscious and intubated in hospital.
A provincial police spokesman says investigators have been unable to question the woman because of her condition.
Police arrested Poulin Collins on Monday, three hours after a woman posing as a nurse snatched a 16-hour-old infant from a local hospital.
Officers tracked down Poulin Collins with the help of locals who recognized the woman from a photo sent out with an Amber Alert.
“We went on Facebook and saw the news that a baby was kidnapped. We just needed to act… we wanted to find the baby,” Charlène Plante told Global News on Tuesday.
Plante recognized the woman in the security image and her and three friends went to the house where they believed she lived.
The red Toyota Yaris hatchback with a “Baby on Board” sign that police were looking for was parked out front.
Police were called and entered the apartment around 10 p.m. and came out with the baby safe and sound.
According to Influence Communications, a Montreal-based company that specializes in media monitoring and analysis, the story of the missing baby was the top trending story in Quebec by Tuesday morning.
“The media really helped us put out the picture and the description fast,” said Quebec police spokesperson Martine Asselin.
“We could see on the TV, on the media, on Facebook, everything we needed and very fast.”
-With files from Amanda Kelly and Brian McKechnie
© 2014 The Canadian Press