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The Kidnapping of Baby Abby
A stork arrives, landing in the front yard. His bright blue or pink wings announcing proudly the name of a baby, including all the details of the baby's arrival, the weight, length, date, and time the baby decided to come into the world. The stork is a sign of pride, of celebration, a way to let family and friends know of the new family member's safe homecoming. The key word here is the WHOLE world now knows about the new arrival.
This means anyone who drives by your house is now privy to the personal information of your sweet little boy or girl. Call me paranoid, but I feel that is a bit too much information to be sitting in the front yard of anyone’s house. Do you know everyone who drives by your house? Do you want everyone driving by your house to know all of this information about your child?
My first baby, Jonathan, died in utero on September 11 1990 because of a molar pregnancy. My second pregnancy ended on October 22 1992 because of cord strangulation, Jacob was full term at 39 weeks. The third time was the charm; my beautiful Earth Angel arrived on December 9 1993. As we brought our little girl home from the hospital the next day, we saw a GIANT pink stork in the front yard.
There in front of our rented green house he stood in all his 6-foot tall glory. He was HUGE, he was pink, and he was SCREAMING look a new baby has ARRIVED. I immediately began to panic, saying OH NO that is NOT staying in our yard. that thing is telling every Tom, Dick and Harry kidnapper we have a new baby to steal. My daughter's father thought it was nothing to worry about at the time, being able to see the sentiment behind the idea. My mind could only race to thoughts about two little girls in St. Louis recently kidnapped and murdered as I finished the last month of my pregnancy.
My parents had a hard time understanding the basis of my fear, although they understood that you do not mess with a new mother’s hormones and agreed to take down the stork. I have several friends in law enforcement who agree the stork is not a recommended way to announce the arrival of a newborn.
The fire department no longer advocates putting stickers on the outside of children's bedroom windows. Instead they routinely check every room in the event of a fire, per protocol. The reason for this new policy is according to the fire department people move and the occupants often forget to remove the stickers.
Although there are not specific numbers regarding specific situations involving the dangers of yard signs, many parents have reported being approached by someone they did not know after the birth of a baby. The encounter left them feeling uncomfortable about the encounter. The common factor is the parents had a yard sign announcing the arrival of a new born.
Baby Abby was kidnapped from her home in Lonedell Missouri at gunpoint. Law enforcement noted there was a metal home made sign with the words - Welcome Home Abby - in the front yard. Law enforcement question whether it played a part in Baby Abby's kidnapping.
According to Stephenie Ochsenbine the abby's mother, a woman asked to use a telephone. Once inside the home, the woman displayed a gun, and began stabbing the baby’s twenty-one-year old mother multiple times. Before everything was over Stephanie had her throat slashed and the woman kidnapped Abby. A one-year-old boy was also home during the abduction, and not harmed. Abby’s mother managed to carry her one-year-old son to a neighbor’s house and the neighbor called 911. When police arrived they quickly issued an amber alert for Abigale Lynn Woods.
Baby Abby was wearing a pink dress with a flowered collar when abducted. Abigale Lynn Woods is a caucasian baby with blue eyes and black hair. The kidnapper is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet 8, weighing about 200 pounds, with dark, possible red or black hair pulled under a baseball-style cap with a worn bill. She wore sunglasses, a black scarf around neck, a gray or brown T-shirt, and blue jean shorts.
It was a birthmark between her eyes that led to Baby Abby's safe return home. Shannon Torrez was arrested for her kidnapping, and is serving a 30 year sentence.
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