The wife of a Fort Lewis soldier was charged Monday with second-degree kidnapping, burglary and criminal mistreatment in the abduction of a newborn from a suburban Tacoma hospital.
Kimberly Kayciee Skurzewski, 30, a native of Lexington, Ky., was charged in Pierce County Superior Court.
Bail was set at $250,000 and she entered a plea of innocent.
Prosecutors gave this account of the abduction in court papers filed Monday: Skurzewski posed as a doctor or health-care worker, wearing a white lab coat, to gain entrance to St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood early Saturday.
She then went to Melinda Coen’s room, identified herself as a nurse, and offered to take little Stewart Rembert, born Thursday, so Coen could get some sleep, charging papers say.
Later Saturday, some Fred Meyer store employees who had seen a composite sketch of the woman who took Stewart, spotted Skurzewski and her two daughters, ages 8 and 13, taking baby items from the store.
“One of the daughters was carrying a very young baby with very dark hair,” the charging papers say.
The employees thought Skurzewski strongly resembled the sketch.
One of the employees saw Skurzewski drive away and was able to obtain a partial number from the Tennessee license plate and a description of the car.
The information was sent to police agencies around the country, and military police at Fort Lewis stopped the car.
Skurzewski at first denied any involvement in the abduction, and told detectives the baby Fred Meyer employees had seen at the store was actually a baby doll.
But when detectives went to Skurzewski’s home to look at the life-size baby doll, one of the woman’s daughters told investigators her mother had brought home a real baby.
She said Skurzewski told her that she had paid $500 to get the baby from a person who didn’t want him.
The daughter said her mother was “freaked out” by news reports about the abduction and left the baby near a trash bin at a convenience store.
After Skurzewski admitted taking the baby, she told detectives where to find Stewart, who had been outside for at least two hours when he was found.
Stewart appeared to suffer no serious effects of the abduction. He had a slight fever, had lost a little weight and was hoarse, but otherwise OK.
He went home with his parents - Coen and John Rembert - on Sunday.
Conviction on all of the charges would carry a maximum punishment of two years in prison.
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