DES MOINES, Iowa – Police in Iowa are trying to determine how a man walked into the neo-natal intensive care unit of a Des Moines hospital and bottle-fed a baby that was not his.
The incident occurred at the MercyOne medical center in Des Moines, KCCI-TV reported. The man was caught on surveillance video during the late hours of Dec. 28, 2021, according to the Des Moines Police Department.
“The first question that comes to our minds is ‘Why?’” Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek told KCCI.
Police said the man slipped past a nurse, identified himself as the infant’s father and then fed the child before leaving the hospital.
The child was not harmed, police said.
“The family is obviously very frightened. This is something that would startle any parent,” Parizek told KCCI.
Police have released a photo of the man in an effort to learn his identity, WHO-TV reported.
Authorities said the man was trespassing but do not understand his motives.
“This is definitely something new to all of us,” Parizek told KCCI. “When we think of child-stealing or predators this is not how they behave, or at least how we’re familiar with them behaving. In this case, there was no harm done to the child and on the surface, no intent to commit any other crime beyond what he did to get in there.
“We don’t know what his true intent was, or what he was planning on doing further down the road,” Parizek added. “We need to get him identified so we can at least hear his side of the story and have our investigators better understand what was going on.”
“MercyOne takes the safety and security of our patients and families very seriously,” hospital officials said in a statement. “The incident that took place last month is extremely troubling. We are actively cooperating with the Des Moines Police Department on this ongoing investigation and have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which prompted several changes to our policies and protocols to expand our security and prevent this from occurring in the future.”
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