NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just a week after Yair Anthony Carillo was born, police in Tennessee were looking for the snatched infant and his abductor with growing concern.
The chubby baby with a thick mane of black hair was taken from his home Tuesday, just four days after he was born to 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla. She says a heavyset white woman with blonde hair arrived at her home south of Nashville posing as an immigration agent, attacked her with a kitchen knife, then took the boy, who turned a week old Friday. Her 3-year-old daughter was left in the home unharmed.
Police say they are getting tips and leads every hour, but concern for his safety grows with each passing day.
"We don't know that the person who took the child knows how to take care of an infant," said police spokesman Don Aaron.
Gurrolla has said the woman did not mention wanting to take the baby.
"She said she was an immigration officer and she was there to arrest her," said Gurrolla's cousin, serving as interpreter.
Gurrolla suffered several stab wounds to her neck and chest. She was released from the hospital Thursday.
Officers have canvassed the neighborhood of single-family brick homes, hoping to find witnesses or clues. A crime scene analyst has been to the home looking for evidence that could lead to the suspect.
Police said they have a sketch based on Gurrolla's description but aren't yet ready to release it to the public.
"Law enforcement has absolutely 100 percent hope that this child will be safely recovered," said Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Gurrolla said she did not see the woman take the baby because she ran to a neighbor's home for help. That neighbor, Eric Peterson, told The Associated Press that Gurrolla banged on his door and was "covered from her head to her toe with blood," with gashes on her neck and upper chest.
She pleaded with him to rescue her children from the "lady in the kitchen" who had a butcher knife. He went to the home a few doors down and saw a woman speeding away. He brought Gurrolla's daughter back safely to his house, but found no baby.
Metro Nashville Police have released a surveillance photo of a Kia Spectra that parked next to Gurrolla at a nearby Walmart shortly before the baby was taken and may have followed her out of the parking lot.
Gurrolla is a Latina. Police said they do not know why her family was targeted, and advocates were worried that the city's Hispanic population can be preyed upon by those claiming to be authorities.
Police said they think she has been in Nashville about 10 years, but it isn't clear if she is an immigrant or a citizen. Her family has declined to talk about the issue, and police spokesman Don Aaron said her citizenship was not significant to the investigation.
Immigrants must be taught to trust U.S. law enforcement and criminals can take advantage of their fears of deportation or police, said Yuri Cunza, president of Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and publisher of La Noticia, a Spanish language newspaper in Nashville.
"I am really concerned about the possibility of newborn babies and Hispanic women can be targeted because of a level of vulnerability," Cunza said.
A similar case targeted a Latino family in Nashville in 2005. Christina Delarosa Sanchez pleaded guilty to the murder of Hilda Griselda Gutierrez and her 3-year-old daughter in a foiled plot to steal the woman's infant son.