Held for investigation is the 21-year-old woman the parents said took the child, Angel Gabriel, 4 months.
Investigators do not always believe parents when they report a child missing. Sometimes the baby turns up dead, the victim of parental aggression.
But in this case, the parents, Keilyn Morera and Alexander Carranza, had a highly probably story about how the baby was taken. They identified a family friend, Anielka del Carmen Bermúdez Bustos, as someone to whom they entrusted the child’s care for a brief period and then she vanished Friday in Quepos.
The story became more probable when a bus driver reported that the woman traveled to San José with a baby. There was extensive publicity and posters issued by the child’s family and investigators. The parents spent an agonizing weekend.
The search moved to the Central Valley where there were reports that Ms. Bermúdez had been sighted. Still the parents received a text message saying that the child had been taken to Panamá. That further confused the situation.
It was not police, but a taxi driver that convinced the women to surrender the child. The Judicial Investigating Organization reported Tuesday that shortly before noon a man contacted agents and said he had the much-sought child.
Later agents went to a home in Guachipelín, Escazú, where they detained Ms. Bermúdez and prepared to take her back to Quepos for questioning.
Although the Spanish newspapers were full of theories about the disappearance, neighbors of the detained woman said that she presented the child as her own to a man with whom she wanted to strengthen a relationship. She told him he was the father. That was in Guachipelín. He was not held.
When agents searched the living quarters they found what could be expected in the home of a new baby. There were toddler’s clothes, a bib and indications that the child had been cared for well.
The child got an exam at the Hospital Nacional de Niños.