A New Zealand woman is alleged to have faked a pregnancy for nine months before walking into a hospital and stealing a newborn baby.
Neha Narayan was arrested by police after she was found with the baby in the hospital car park, where her partner was waiting to pick her up with what he believed to be their child.
Narayan, 24, faked her pregnancy for nine months before telling her boyfriend to drop her off at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland as she was ready to "give birth".
The woman of Fiji-Indian descent roamed the maternity ward on the lookout for a baby, police said. She was handed a two-day-old Indian baby by hospital staff who believed she was the mother, according to police spokeswoman Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey.
The police arrested the woman after the baby's parents spotted Narayn with their child and alerted hospital staff. She has been charged with abduction of a young person.
"On her way out of the hospital, when she had a child with her that she'd taken from the birthing unit, a nurse stopped her and asked her to come back inside," Gates-Bowey said.
Narayan's lawyer has claimed his client had been suffering mentally after losing her unborn child, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Heeni Phillips said her client held the baby belonging to another couple for reasons connected to her "previous predicament with her baby".
"She didn't have any intention of running out with any child.
"She was there with her partner and had gone out to talk to the partner with the baby - there was a total misunderstanding," Phillips told the paper.
Narayan was remanded on bail and is due to appear in court later this month charged with abduction. If found guilty, she could face up to seven years in prison.