The father of a sick baby snatched from hospital by his
mother is being sought by police as they continue to
investigate why he was taken.
Eleven-day-old Jacob has been returned to the newborn
intensive care unit at Starship Children's Hospital where he
is in a stable condition and has been placed in the custody
of Child Youth and Family after being found this morning.
He has a muscular condition requiring a tube for feeding and
needs specialist care.
Police are still assessing whether to lay criminal charges
over the incident.
About 8.45pm last night Jacob was discovered missing and CCTV
footage allegedly revealed images of his mother, Leah
Brewster, also known as Faatavaelea Brewster, 25, removing
him from the hospital.
It is believed she was accompanied by Jacob's father, James
Vemoa, 26, said police.
Officers searched through the night for the baby and before
8am today someone connected to the family contacted police
after seeing media coverage about his disappearance.
Jacob was found at an unidentified address in Auckland with
his mother. Other people were also at the house, said
Northern Police Communications spokesman Inspector Peter
"The baby was alive and well when police officers arrived,"
Police were still seeking Mr Vemoa, whose whereabouts was
unknown, said Inspector Raynes.
Mr Vemoa, is Maori and from Grey Lynn. He was wearing long
black shorts, black shoes and socks, and a black T-shirt last
Police questioned Ms Brewster at the address this morning and
she and baby Jacob were returned to hospital to be checked.
The investigation team are yet to decide whether charges will
be laid. A police statement is expected later today.
Baby Jacob has been readmitted to the intensive care unit,
where he is in a stable condition.
"We're very relieved to have Jacob back in our care," said
Auckland District Health Board communications manager Mark
Child Youth and Family was now working with police to ensure
Jacob's safety, a spokeswoman said.
The agency had previously been involved with the family, she
Security at the intensive care unit has been increased since
Jacob was taken and Mr Fenwick said he expected a review to
Visitors to the unit are required to report to the charge
nurse or duty nurse and advise who they are visiting as part
of usual procedure, said Mr Fenwick.
In January last year Auckland woman Neha Narayan kidnapped a
baby from Middlemore Hospital.
She took the baby from a maternity ward crib six months after
she had suffered a miscarriage. As a result of mental health
issues and relationship problems, she had pretended she was
still pregnant and even bought infant's clothes and other
baby items, the High Court at Auckland was told.
The 25-year-old said she took the newborn to convince her
partner she had given birth.
She was sentenced to two years' intensive supervision and 200
hours' community work.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Vemoa is
urged to call the police.