O.C. woman gets 13 years for kidnapping newborn from hospital

Grisel Ramirez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
(Garden Grove Police Department)

A Garden Grove woman has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for posing as a nurse and kidnapping a newborn baby from a hospital after scouting several rooms looking for an infant to grab.

Grisel Ramirez, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of kidnapping a child under age 15 and five felony counts of first-degree burglary, the Orange County district attorney’s office said.

A sentencing enhancement was also implemented for kidnapping a child to deprive a parent of custody.

Prosecutors said Ramirez walked into the Garden Grove Medical Center the morning of Aug. 6, 2012 wearing medical scrubs and a visitor tag, and carrying a large tote bag.


Ramirez passed through four rooms and began asking new mothers questions about their babies, including when they were born and whether they were boys or girls.

Ramirez then went into a fifth room belonging to a woman with a day-old baby girl, prosecutors said. There, she asked the new mother to take a shower so she could be moved to a new room.

While the woman was distracted, prosecutors said, Ramirez put the baby in her bag and tried to leave.

But an alarm on the baby’s identification tag was triggered and hospital staff found Ramirez before she was able to leave, prosecutors said. Ramirez was arrested at the scene.

Prosecutors said further investigation revealed that Ramirez had gone to an Anaheim hospital just weeks before, again dressed in medical scrubs and carrying a tote bag. She spoke to at least one new mother at the Western Medical Center, asking questions about her baby’s sex and date of birth.

That woman reported Ramirez to both the hospital and police.

At the time of Ramirez’s arrest, Garden Grove police said she had told her estranged husband she was pregnant. Officials said Ramirez told investigators that her due date had passed and she needed to find a baby to show him.

“He thought she was really pregnant,” Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said. “Obviously, he didn’t have any idea that she was going to kidnap a child.”

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