Local News

Accused baby-napper also faces assault charge

Posted April 22, 2010 4:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 22, 2010 11:00 p.m. EDT

— The woman accused of trying to abduct an infant from a Duke University Hospital nursery allegedly pulled a knife on a pregnant woman two weeks ago, police said Thursday.

Louisburg police charges Tanisha Weaver, 28, of 18 Shannon Road in Louisburg, with assault with a deadly weapon on April 5 following an incident in the parking lot of a Walmart in Louisburg.

Capt. Jason Abbott said Weaver placed an online advertisement soliciting pregnant women for a calendar, and she set up a meeting with one woman in the parking lot. When the woman tried to back out of participating in the calendar, Abbott said, Weaver pulled a knife on her.

The woman filed a complaint against Weaver, and police arrested her. Weaver was also cited for driving with a revoked license, Abbott said.

Weaver's trial date on those charges is scheduled for next Monday.

Weaver was being held Thursday in the Durham County Jail under a $100,000 bond. She was charged Monday with abduction of children.

Duke Hospital officials said a woman tried to take a newborn from the hospital's North Ancillary. Hospital staff recognized that the woman wasn't authorized to take the child, called police and detained her until investigators arrived, officials said.

A Durham County prosecutor said Wednesday that Weaver used an elaborate ruse to get the baby's mother out of the room, but when she cut the identification bracelet off the baby's ankle, it triggered an alarm that alerted nurses to the situation.

Weaver later indicated to investigators that she was trying to get a baby because she owed someone money, the prosecutor said.

Officials at Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson said a woman matching Weaver's description was acting suspiciously in the hospital last Saturday. The woman, who was dressed in surgical scrubs, passed herself off as a nursing student and was asking questions about the maternity ward, officials said.

The woman was seen leaving the hospital with two unidentified people.

Weaver was fired at the beginning of the month as an after-school tutor at Franklinton Elementary School, said Nathan Moreschi, spokesman for Franklin County Schools. She worked through a company called Academics Plus and tutored students under supervision for about 90 minutes twice a week, Moreschi said.

Weaver told her neighbor, Kawana Jones, that she was pregnant, and she had baby clothes, bottles and a stroller inside her home.

Jones said she became suspicious last weekend when Weaver said she was going into the hospital to give birth and returned home the next day without a baby, saying that she had checked herself out but the baby needed more observation for a respiratory problem.