A three-week-old baby girl who was kidnapped by an unidentified man in the Ústí nad Labem region last week has been found alive and well in Germany, the Czech police have said, declining to reveal further details until the state prosecutor’s office and officials in Dresden hold press conferences on Tuesday afternoon.
The news server iDnes.cz reported that the baby girl, Michala Janová, who was 18 days old when snatched from her baby carriage in the town of Trmice last Wednesday, is now under the care of doctors in Germany. It was not clear when she would be returned to her parents.
Michala’s mother said the kidnapper, a tall white man with dark hair, asked her if the baby was hers before grabbing her and driving off. He reportedly crossed the border to Germany in a black Volkswagen sedan with stolen Czech license plates, highway service CCTV footage of which evidently helped police find the infant.
Police had delpoyed a helicopter with heat-seeking vision and stopped numerous cars heading towards the German border. Radomír Niedl, the girl’s grandfather, told news server iDnes.cz earlier that the family had also immediately organized a massive search. “We drove around until 4:00 a.m. We got together about 40 cars and went out looking for her. We were in Germany, we drove around all of the nearby towns — Dresden, Pirna, Bad Schandau,” he said.
Some Czech media speculated that the kidnapping of the girl, who is a Roma (“Gypsy”), was faked to cover up the fact she had been sold after birth to cover the family’s debts. The family rejected the speculation. Niedl said the family was large, had savings, and was willing to pay whatever it took for Michala’s safe return.