Teen charged in baby snatching faces evaluation


Naquelle Ballard in court

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga.,None - A teen accused of trying to leave a Clayton County hospital with a newborn hidden in her purse must undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Nineteen-year-old Naquelle Ballard was arrested earlier this month after a maintenance worker at Southern Regional Hospital stopped her from abducting a 2-day-old girl, police said. They said she admitted to dressing up in hospital scrubs and told the child’s mother she was taking the baby to the nursery.

"She said she was the nurse's tech and that she was taking my baby for vitals," the baby’s mother, Jas'Mere Brown, told Channel 2’s Tom Jones.

An alarm went off and Ballard fled the hospital, leaving the baby behind, police said. She was arrested a short time later in her SUV and charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Investigators said Ballard told them that she had miscarried and intended to snatch the baby and claim to her boyfriend that the child was their own. She was slated for a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning, but that was canceled until doctors can evaluate her.

Neighbors said something may be mentally wrong with her.

"There has to be some sort of psychological problem to have someone want to do that," neighbor William Bouchelle told Channel 2’s Tom Regan shortly after the arrest.

Brown said if Ballard lost a baby, she should know the pain a mother goes through when losing one. And that should have convinced her not to try and abduct hers.

"After all the hard work that I've done and I just went through all of this pain to get her. And I'm loving on her. You don't do that to someone," Brown said.

Brown said her child, Chloe, is doing fine.




PREVIOUS STORY: Mother discusses baby snatching