Texas Baby Kidnap Suspect Facing Federal Charge

The woman accused of snatching a newborn girl from her mother's hospital room in the middle of the night faced a federal kidnapping charge Monday, while the tiny girl was back in her mother's arms.

Federal authorities alleged that Rayshaun Parson, 21, returned to her Clovis, N.M., home Saturday "in possession of a baby," court records show. She had previously told people there she was pregnant, "but never really was," according to an FBI affidavit stating what a woman who tipped police told them.

Parson agreed Monday to be extradited to Texas after her arrest Sunday on suspicion of kidnapping, a Texas charge. She could face fugitive from justice charges in New Mexico.

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An agent with the U.S. Marshals Service in New Mexico said Parson was expected to return to Lubbock later Monday. She is scheduled to have her initial federal court appearance Tuesday morning in Lubbock before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koenig.

Will Larson, who moved to Clovis recently and lives near Parson's home, said he told police that he had seen her before without a baby but noticed her with a stroller Saturday and thought that was unusual.

Phone numbers at Parson's Clovis address were disconnected Monday. FBI spokeswoman Lori Bailey in Dallas declined to comment.

As the charges were being filed, the baby girl's parents asked for privacy in the aftermath of their ordeal.

"We're just happy to have her back," the little girl's grandfather, Darrell Darthard, said at a hospital news conference, thanking police and supporters while the baby's mother quietly held her in a purple blanket.

Mychael Darthard-Dawodu was kidnapped early Saturday by a woman posing as a medical worker who walked out of Covenant Lakeside Hospital with the baby hidden in her purse, police said.

Surveillance footage showed a woman wearing blue and flower-print hospital scrubs and a gray, puffy jacket with a hood walking out of the hospital.

Police found the girl Sunday in Clovis, about 100 miles to the southeast.

At the news conference, the family appeared spent after many anxious hours wondering about Mychael's safety and health. The baby and her parents, Caisha Darthard and Michael A. Dawodu, have been inseparable since being reunited Sunday morning, said Gwen Stafford, senior vice president of Covenant Health System.

"Closeness is a given," she said.

Five-day-old Mychael didn't utter a peep Monday as her mother gently stroked her cheek with her finger during the news conference. The family took no questions.

"It's not that we're not grateful," Darrell Darthard said. "We just want some privacy with the family and to spend some time with her."

Authorities had several tips that the 5-pound, 7-ounce baby was in Clovis, and police conducted surveillance on an area pinpointed by at least one of the tips and found the girl in a home with an adult female early Sunday, Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens said. The suspect was found at another residence in Clovis, he said.

Parson has had dealings with the law before. In May 2004, a protective order was issued against her in a domestic violence incident involving a boyfriend, according to New Mexico online court documents.

In January 2005, she was charged with fraud, according to the court documents. A call seeking information about the case was not immediately returned Monday.

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