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Kidnapped Kansas Kid Returned

January 30, 1998 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A newborn girl stolen from a maternity ward was safely returned to her mother this morning, and her suspected abductors were in jail.

Two-day-old Carlie Shockey was reunited with her mother, Trish Nicole Shockey, about 5:30 a.m. and was in good health, said hospital spokeswoman Carol White.

FBI agents were waiting in a house south of St. Louis when a man and woman walked in just late Thursday carrying Carlie, by then 31 hours old and already a seasoned traveler.

Amanda Tull, 18, and Buddy Hall, 30, are accused of snatching the baby late Wednesday from her sleeping mother’s room at the University of Kansas Medical Center, driving 100 miles north to show her off in their home county in northwest Missouri, and then driving her at least 250 miles more to High Ridge, south of St. Louis, where a relative lived.

The broadcast of security camera images of the pair had prompted a blizzard of tips, including one from the relative, who told the FBI the couple was heading to High Ridge, said David Tubbs, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Kansas City, Mo.

The FBI decided against trying to stop their car as they headed toward St. Louis, for fear of an accident that could harm the baby. Instead, agents and a couple of emergency medical technicians waited at the relative’s house for three or four hours.

``We had agents sitting inside the house. They were arrested when they walked in,″ Tubbs said.

Carlie appeared to be in good condition, Tubbs said.

Relatives said Ms. Shockey, a 19-year-old single mother, had been sedated for pain unrelated to the birth and awoke just long enough to learn her daughter was safe.

``We were all jumping around and screaming and falling on the floor and she just slept through it all,″ said Melissa Brewster, a sister.

Authorities say Ms. Tull went into the University of Kansas Medical Center room of Ms. Shockey Wednesday evening, and told her about a drawing for free baby clothes. After a brief conversation, the sedated mother fell asleep.

Ms. Tull then allegedly abducted Carlie, who had born only a few hours earlier.

Hall told other visitors that he was hanging around the ward because his wife had had triplets, the FBI said. At 11:16 p.m. Wednesday, a camera recorded the couple leaving the hospital with a baby in an infant carrier, minutes ahead of hospital police.

``It seemed to be a planned operation, obviously, but we don’t know if they were specifically going for this baby or any baby they could reasonably get out of the hospital,″ FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said before the arrests.

Hours before the abduction, a security camera caught the suspects hanging around at North Kansas City (Mo.) Hospital.

``It’s clearly the same suspects,″ Lanza said.

Authorities learned that the suspects were showing off an infant in Sheridan, Ms. Tull’s hometown in Missouri. Residents of nearby Grant City said she was carrying a baby around downtown, showing her to people.