Crime & Justice

911 call audio: 'Code pink' alert saves Garden Grove newborn from kidnapping

Grisel Ramirez, 48, arrested for attempting to kidnap a newborn baby girl from Garden Grove Medical Center.
Grisel Ramirez, 48, arrested for attempting to kidnap a newborn baby girl from Garden Grove Medical Center.
Garden Grove Police Department

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Police say witnesses have identified the woman arrested for attempting to kidnap a baby from a Garden Grove hospital as the same woman who, on July 26, dressed in hospital scrubs and began asking pregnant patients at Western Medical Center in Anaheim about their due dates and the sex of their unborn babies.

Garden Grove Police Lieutenant Jeff Nightengale says the suspect, Grisel Ramirez, 48, has apparently been searching for a baby to kidnap in an attempt to win back her estranged husband.

“She had told the husband that she was pregnant and was going to have a baby girl," he told KPCC. "But when the due date had passed and the the husband began pressing her to visit the child and to sign the birth certificate, she felt pressured to go out and kidnap a female Hispanic baby."

Again wearing scrubs and posing as an employee, Ramirez on Monday took a newborn baby girl from a Garden Grove Medical Center hospital room, put her in a tote bag and attempted to walk out of building. But before she could exit, Nightengale says, a security system to protect newborns trigged a hospital-wide "Code Pink" alert.

“In essence it works like a lo jack system," Nightengale said of the security system for newborns. "There’s a bracelet or anklet put on with a security sensor on it and when that security sensor passes an imaginary line on the hospital ward floor, it triggers an alarm.”

That in turn caused a hopsital-wide announcement throughout the PA system that requires employees to secure doors and not let anyone enter or exit the hospital. Nightengale says a doctor saw Ramirez trying to leave through one of the doors, stopped her, looked into her tote bag and found the newborn baby girl.

Hear the 911 call from Monday's attempted kidnapping:

Ramirez was booked into the Orange County jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday at 9 a.m.