The newborn baby abducted last week from her mother's arms in Arlington Hospital was returned in good condition last night to District police, authorities reported.
Arlington County police said Jennifer Renee Smith, who was 2 days old when she was abducted Thursday, was returned last night to the 5th District police headquarters in Northeast Washington.
An Arlington police official said a 23-year-old woman who lives in Bradbury Heights in Prince George's County was arrested and charged with abduction in connection with the incident.
The woman, identified by police as Valery Michelle Holbert of 4301 Quinn St. and said to be unemployed, was released on personal recognizance early this morning.
No motive in the unusual incident has yet been established, an Arlington police spokesman said today.
Authorities at Arlington Hospital said the baby was undergoing tests there early this morning and had not yet been reunited with her mother, Loreli Smith, 23, of Capitol Heights.
According to a preliminary account provided by Arlington police, the events began about 9:20 a.m. Saturday when county officers received a call from someone who gave no name.
The caller gave information bearing on the baby's whereabouts and also provided police with a name, according to Detective Ken Rosenberg, an Arlington police spokesman.
Rosenberg said police subsequently interviewed the woman named in the telephone call.
Shortly before 9 o'clock last night, Arlington police said, the baby was taken to the 5th District headquarters on Bladensburg Road NE.
The infant was then taken for examination to Children's Hospital, where a spokeswoman said she was found to be in good condition.
A spokeswoman at Arlington Hospital, where Jennifer Renee was born last week by cesarean section, said she was returned there about midnight and underwent blood tests intended to confirm her identity.
The results were not immediately known, but Rosenberg said police were satisfied that the baby was Jennifer Renee.
The child's mother told authorities that Jennifer Renee was lifted from her arms Thursday afternoon by a woman who appeared to be in her mid-to-late thirties and who was wearing blue hospital scrubs.
The woman, according to the mother's account, said she was taking the baby to a lab for a routine blood test.
"She wrapped her kind of loose, picked her up in her arms and carried her out," a sobbing Loreli Smith told a brief news conference at the hospital on Friday.
"That was the last time I saw her," Smith said.
Smith's husband Herbert, 36, who was at her side during the news conference, said he had no idea why Jennifer, the couple's fourth child, had been taken.
"There is nobody really that hates us that much to take our child, as far as I know," he said.
Arlington police spokesman Rosenberg said last week that investigators could not verify rumors that the abduction was similar to one depicted two weeks ago on a television soap opera.
Rosenberg said last week that hospital personnel did not know the baby was missing until a nurse asked Loreli Smith Thursday afternoon where the baby was.
When the infant's disappearance was discovered, the hospital grounds were searched and the police and FBI were called.
A hospital spokesman said security there was stepped up. A guard was placed on the maternity floor.
Authorities said the case was the first of its kind in Arlington in their memory. At least two similar cases have been reported in the District in the past 15 years.