A couple, desperate for a child, had allegedly spirited away a baby boy from the maternity ward of the Mahamodera hospital, 22 hours after he was born, police said.
The baby`s mother and the Mahamodera hospital Director had made a complaint to the Galle police that the baby had gone missing during visiting hours when the mother had gone to the toilet.
OIC Crimes Galle police, W.G.S. Pushpakumara said police investigations revealed that the baby had been taken away from the hospital in a three-wheeler to Kahawa. The three-wheeler driver who was traced led the police to where he had dropped his hire.
Police had found the baby with the woman who claimed that it was her child whom she had just given birth to at the hospital but she did not have the hospital bed head ticket with her as proof.
The baby had yelled his head off when she attempted to nurse it as she had no milk, police said.
At that time the husband had arrived in the house and when he was asked for the hospital bed head ticket he had said the hospital authorities had transferred it to the Elpitiya hospital from where it had to be collected.
The police had then taken the couple and the child back to Mahamodera hospital where it was established that the woman had entered the hospital complaining of a stomach ache but had not given birth to a child.
The couple later confessed to police they had been married for seven years and lost two babies during that time.
In desperation the woman had tied a pillow around her stomach to prove to neighbours and relatives that she was pregnant and even pretended to visit maternity clinics in Galle.
The woman has been sent to a gynaecologist for a medical report after which the couple are to be produced in court.