The Ottawa Police Service says it has charged a Quebec woman after an eight-day-old newborn baby was abducted in the city’s west end on Sunday, only for the suspect to be subdued by a quick-acting neighbour.
Police said that at approximately 1:40 p.m. on Sunday, a woman attended a family home in the west end of Ottawa.
The suspect had previously been connected to the mother of the newborn via a Facebook group for new moms, according to police.
Staff Sgt. Martin Groulx, an investigator with the OPS sexual assault and child abuse unit (SACA), told reporters Monday afternoon that the suspect obtained the victim’s address on the pretence that she had randomly won a prize and delivered it to her home on Friday.
When she returned on Sunday, police allege that she forcefully entered the home and used bear-repellent spray to subdue the family, took the baby and left.
Groulx said the mom was able to alert neighbours about the situation.
One neighbour then located the suspect with the baby and detained her until police arrived, according to a release.
The baby was assessed by paramedics, who said he was unharmed. No one else in the family was injured in the incident either, Groulx said.
Nicole Shanks, 32, from Shawville, Que., is now charged with:
- three counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to endanger life
- abduction of a person under 14
- possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace
- break and enter of a house with intent
- assault with a weapon
- carrying a concealed weapon
- harassment by watching and besetting
SACA investigators believe the accused could have been in contact with other new mothers via Facebook.
Groulx said the accused used both her real name and picture when interacting with others on social media.
Anyone with information is asked to call 613-236-1222 ext. 5944.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.
The accused appeared in court for a show-cause hearing on Monday morning and has been remanded in custody, Groulx said, with her next appearance scheduled for Friday.