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IS: 21-year-old woman suspected of snatching newborn

Police suspect a young woman of kidnapping a baby in Huittinen last week, Ilta-Sanomat reports.

A map showing Huittinen and Helsinki.
Police suspect a woman kidnapping a baby after assaulting its mother in Huittinen. Police later located the woman and baby in Helsinki. Image: Laura Merikalla / Yle
Yle News

Ilta-Sanomat on Monday reported that a 21-year-old woman from Pori is suspected of a child abduction that occurred in Huittinen, in Satakunta, last Thursday.

Police on Sunday arrested the woman, who has no prior criminal record, on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping and assault.

The events unfolded after two women, previously unknown to each other, met up for a jog.

The suspect contacted the victim, a new mother, through social media, suggesting an outdoor meetup, according to the police. After seriously assaulting the mother, the suspect fled with the newborn to Helsinki.

A few hours later the authorities found the suspect and baby in Helsinki. The infant was unharmed.

The Southwest Finland Police have described the alleged crime as exceptional and serious.

Rare case

Child abductions in Finland are rare, and what makes this case even more exceptional is that the victim and perpetrator did not know each other, as most kidnappings relate to custody disputes.

"Child abductions are not common in Finland. It's almost impossible to find a similar comparison from the past," Hannu Lauerma, a criminal psychiatrist, told Yle.

Perpetrators generally act spontaneously when it comes to kidnappings involving very young children, according to Lauerma. This could mean the perpetrator grabbing a stroller holding a child when caregivers aren't looking. In these cases, Lauerma said perpetrators are generally delusional or mentally ill.

"But in this case, there is at least some degree of premeditation, and that's why there are hardly any Finnish comparisons," Lauerma explained.

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