CHICAGO – A 36-year-old woman offered to pay her roommates $3,000 to help her kidnap a baby because she told her truck driver boyfriend she was pregnant, but later dumped the child in a trash can, police said Monday.
The boy, who was snatched from his mother's arms Saturday in their southwest side apartment, was found hours later unharmed in a garbage can a short distance from his home.
Olga Magana (search), Ricardo Navarro, 30, and Isaac Villarrial, 22, all from Chicago, were each charged Monday with attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping, said Tom Stanton, a spokesman for the Cook County (search) state's attorney's office. Police said they were searching for a fourth suspect.
Magana told the men, who were her roommates, that she would pay them $3,000 if they helped her kidnap a baby to convince her boyfriend she had given birth, police said. The men were never paid.
Police said Magana had been dating her boyfriend for about a year and carried out Saturday's kidnapping so she would have a child to show him when he arrived home from a long-haul road trip.
"When she presented the baby to him he believed it was his child," said police Commander Patricia Walsh.
However, the boyfriend became suspicious after seeing television news reports about missing 2-month-old Fernando Torres.
"He saw a news broadcast and commented 'What a shame' ... but later he didn't feel right about the situation and when he actually saw a picture of the child and learned some other information he came forward," Walsh said.
Magana also became concerned when she saw the missing boy on television.
"She knew that the police were looking for her and she put the baby in a dumpster," Walsh said.
Police spokesman Dave Bayless said Magana and the two men were arrested over the weekend and remained in custody Monday.
Detectives are investigating if Magana and the others were involved in a baby-snatching incident earlier this month in the city's Little Village (search) neighborhood, police said.
In that incident, a woman was pushing a stroller down the street on May 7 when a man struck up a conversation, then grabbed the baby and ran. A citizen heard the woman scream, however, and retrieved the baby, Walsh said.