MERCED (AP) — A California woman is under investigation after trying to enter a hospital maternity ward carrying a doll that looked like a living baby, police said Friday.
Tonya Whitney and a man first went into the hospital on Saturday, each carrying a lifelike doll and drawing suspicion from security officials who told the pair to leave, Merced police Capt. Tom Trindad said.
They returned to Mercy Medical Center on Monday. Police said Whitney — this time wearing nurse’s scrubs — again tried to enter the maternity ward. Hospital security took photos of the couple and their contact information, and police notified hospitals in the area of their activity.
Whitney, 41, was cited with misdemeanor trespassing and released. The case will be turned over to prosecutors for their consideration.
Police said they were concerned Whitney might have wanted to take a living baby. Trindad said Whitney told officers that she makes the dolls and only sought to ask nurses there if anybody wanted to buy one for training purposes.
“She could understand everybody’s concern,” Trindad said. “Right now the babies are safe and the hospital did a good job with security.”
Whitney’s companion was not cited because he did not enter the hospital on his second visit, police said.