Kidnapped newborn found in Germany

Michala Janová, photo: CTK
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A three-week-old baby girl who was kidnapped by an unidentified man in the region of Ústí nad Labem last week has been found safe and sound. Following an intense police search in both the Czech Republic and neighboring Germany, police learned the whereabouts of the child and four suspects on Monday. Now the newborn will be reunited with her family.

Michala Janová, photo: CTK
Three-week-old Michala Janová was snatched from her baby carriage in Trmice last week, with her mother helpless to stop an unknown assailant who bundled the child into a waiting vehicle. The perpetrator’s black Volkswagen sedan reached the German border in just ten minutes, before dropping off the radar. It would be five interminably long days for the child’s family before the police apprehended the perpetrators almost 600 kilometres away. Learning their baby was unhurt, their ordeal over, the family expressed euphoric relief. Radomír Niedl is the baby’s grandfather:

“I can’t describe the feeling when they came and told us that our granddaughter was healthy and safe!”

Police officials involved in the investigation discussed particulars of the case on Tuesday, revealing that scanning closed-circuit TV highway footage proved one of the most important factors. In the Ústí region alone, for example, there were 15 cameras that surveying traffic along the section of highway and a team of six police officers reviewed more than 400 hours of tape to uncover evidence. Then, just over the border, the police found the vehicle’s tossed license plates. Pavel Zahumenský headed the Czech investigation:

“The license plates were stolen off another car in Ústí nad Labem. Finding them across the border was proof that the kidnappers had travelled into Germany.”

The family of the kidnapped baby, photo: CTK
In Germany, investigators learned the car was from a rental company and then it was only a matter of time before they were able to successfully track down the perpetrators. The baby was then taken to a hospital and is now to be transferred home. It was unclear on Tuesday, though, whether her family will pick her up personally or await her at home, as the child’s mother, who had suffered a collapse fearing for her daughter’s safety, had to rest first. Her father explained she had been unable sleep for days. He also said this:

“Above all I want to thank all of the media – the radio stations and TV broadcasters and the police here and in Germany for putting everything they could into this case.”

Now it will be up to investigators to learn more about how the four suspects in custody planned the kidnapping and for exactly what purpose.