Texas 'Purse Baby' Suspect Arraigned on Kidnapping Charge

A woman accused of snatching a newborn girl from a hospital and taking her 100 miles to New Mexico was arraigned Tuesday on a federal kidnapping charge.

Rayshaun Parson, 21, did not enter a plea in her appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Koenig, and no bail was set. The judge set another hearing for Friday and was expected to appoint a public defender.

The infant, Mychael Darthard-Dawodu, was found Sunday in Clovis, N.M. She had been snatched the day before, when she was just 3 days old, from Covenant Lakeside Hospital in Lubbock.

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According to court records, Parson appeared in Clovis with a baby on Saturday. She had previously told people there she was pregnant "but never really was," according to an FBI affidavit.

She was extradited from New Mexico on Monday on a Texas charge of suspicion of kidnapping. The baby girl, meanwhile, was back in her mother's arms.

"We're just happy to have her back," the Mychael's grandfather, Darrell Darthard, said at a news conference.

The baby had been taken by a woman posing as a medical worker, who walked out of Covenant Lakeside Hospital with the baby hidden in her purse, police said. Authorities said they received several tips that them to the Clovis.

Police found the baby in one home there with an adult female, while Parson was found at another residence, Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens said.

Parson has had dealings with the law before. In 2004, a protective order was issued against her in a domestic violence incident involving a boyfriend, according to New Mexico online court documents. In 2005, she was charged with fraud, according to the court documents. There was no immediate response to a call seeking information.

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