Bond raised for accused baby-napper

Tanisha Weaver

April 21, 2010 4:20:22 PM PDT
The bond for a woman accused of trying to steal a baby from the nursery at Duke North Hospital was raised from $20,000 to $100,000 Wednesday.

Prosecutors told the judge there are new allegations against 28-year-old Tanisha Weaver.

Weaver was arrested Monday after prosecutors said she tricked a mother into leaving her hospital room.

Assistant Durham County District Attorney Jim Dornfried told District Judge Brian Wilks that Weaver bought balloons and a gift card in the hospital's gift shop and then told the mother she would stay with her baby while the mother went to a special lunch in the cafeteria.

When the mother left, Weaver cut the baby's ankle bracelet off, which set off an alarm. Weaver was detained by nurses until law enforcement arrived.

Dornfried said this may have been Weaver's second attempt at kidnapping an infant. He said officials at Parham Hospital in Henderson contacted Durham authorities after seeing media reports on the Duke incident.

Weaver seen on surveillance cameras at Parham Hospital. She allegedly had on surgical scrubs and told workers she was a nursing student last week. A spokesperson at Parham said Weaver was foiled by their extensive security measures.

"She never touched a baby. She never got near a baby. We did what we’re trained to do when we spot a suspicious person," offered Marketing Director David Ruggles.

Dornfried said Weaver's motivation appeared to be money. She told investigators she needed a baby to satisfy a debt.

Weaver was represented by a public defender at Wednesday's hearing. He argued against the bond increase, saying Weaver needs to get out of jail to care for a sick child at home.

Pastor Anthony Alston, Weaver's uncle, told ABC11 his family is shocked. On the surface, he said Weaver appeared normal.

He said the single mom moved to NC because her 8-year-old son has sickle cell anemia, and she thought North Carolina would be better for his health.

Coincidentally, her son has received treatments for weeks at a time at Duke.

Alston added that Weaver got a job as a teacher in Rocky Mount and never led on that she was in debt or feeling desperate.

He also offered an apology to the family of the newborn.

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