ALBANY, Ore. -- The woman told hospital staff to be ready: Her friend was giving birth to triplets on the side of the road -- and they would be coming by air ambulance to their hospital.
Hospital staff had checked with local air ambulance services and found nothing when the woman had earlier told them her friend was en route to a Eugene hospital with the triplets. But the news that newborn triplets were on the way led staff at Samaritan Albany General Hospital to get ready for the possible medical emergency.
Then hospital staff noticed the woman had walked off.
They found her in the maternity ward -- and contacted police. The woman told them the same story, and even showed them a cell phone photo of one of the newborns her friend had sent her.
That was Sept. 19, 2009.
Police now believe the friend and the triplets did not exist, and that the woman -- identified as Trinity Hanley Louise Vidal-Hernandez, 25, of Albany, Ore. -- had worn scrubs while hanging out at the hospital and led her family to believe she worked at the Albany hospital.
Why? Investigators arrested Vidal-Hernandez Tuesday, Oct. 13, on suspicion charges she intended to kidnap a newborn from the hospital -- and detectives suspect she may have displayed similar behavior at other hospital.
Police arrested Vidal-Hernandez at 10 a.m. and lodged her in the Linn County Jail on suspicion of the following charges:
- Attempted Kidnapping II
- Initiating a False Report
- Disorderly Conduct II
- Criminal Mischief II
Albany police detectives believe Vidal-Hernandez's intent on Sept. 19, 2009, was to take an infant from the maternity ward. Police believe the report Vidal-Hernandez made to Samaritan Albany General Hospital staff and responding Albany Police officers about a friend with triplets was false.
Investigators also think Vidal-Hernandez led family members to believe that she was employed at Samaritan Albany General Hospital at various times over the past year. Most recently she led her family to believe that she was working at the hospital in August 2009, police said. During this time, police said Vidal-Hernandez began to routinely spend time at the hospital and at some point began to wear scrubs while at the hospital.
This investigation is ongoing, police said, and detectives have reason to believe that Vidal-Hernandez has displayed similar behavior at other hospitals. Anyone with information regarding this investigation or Vidal-Hernandez is asked to call Albany Police Detectives at (541) 917-7686.