Officers arrested Sriwalak Eakthammasathian at her home in Moo 3, Klok Kloi, at 11pm on Tuesday (Dec 10), confirmed Lt Col Sarawut Soongsa-nga of the Takua Pa Police.
Lt Col Sarawut explained that just hours earlier staff at Takau Pa Hospital had called police to tell them that a woman had stolen a baby from the hospital.
At the hospital, investigating officers found a bag filled with clothes at the bed where the baby had been stolen from. Also in the bag was a bus ticket from Khok Kloi to Takua Pa.
Footage from hospital CCTV cameras showed a woman wearing hijab carrying the baby from its room and leaving the hospital on a motorbike driven by a man.
Police tracked down the man, who told the officers that he did not know Sriwalak. She just asked him for a lift, Lt Col Sarawut explained.
Sriwalak apparently asked two more people – one more motorbike rider and one car driver – to take her to Bang Niang Market in Khao Lak so she could catch a bus there back to Khok Kloi.
While on the bus, the baby defecated, so Sriwalak got off the bus with the baby, asked people to help her clean the baby – and give her a lift home, Lt Col Sarawut said.
“At Takua Pa Police Station [after her arrest], Sriwalak confessed that she was not a Muslim, but she wore a hijab while stealing the baby because she did not want anyone to recognise her,” Lt Col Sarawut added.
Sriwalak told police that she took the baby because she wanted make her husband happy.
“She said that her husband was so happy when he found out that she was pregnant, but she later miscarried and did not tell anyone – not even her husband,” Lt Col Sarawut explained.
“Sriwalak told her husband that she went to the hospital to give birth. She even called him to tell him to buy some things for the baby while she was on the way home,” he said.
Lt Col Sarawut told The Phuket News that Sriwalak was charged with taking a child under 15 from a parent or caregiver without necessary reason. If found guilty, Sriwalak faces three to 15 years in prison or a fine of B6,000 to B30,000, or both.
Meanwhile, the baby girl has been safely returned to Takau Pa Hospital, and is now under the care of the hospital nurses and her mother, Lt Col Sarawut confirmed.