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California couple cradling lifelike dolls attempt to sneak into maternity ward


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California couple cradling lifelike dolls attempt to sneak into maternity ward

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Aug 25, 2014

California police are investigating a couple who attempted to gain access into the maternity ward twice at Merced, California's Mercy Medical Center while both were cradling lifelike baby dolls.

"Detectives have identified the couple and are looking into their motives, including whether they were trying to abduct a baby, Merced Police Capt. Tom Trindad said," reports the Los Angeles Times.

On Saturday, the couple visited the ER for an unconfirmed reason and snuck up to the maternity ward. They were turned away at the first of two security checkpoints. The following day, they returned and attempted the same feat again.

A security guard took candid shots of the couple outside with their fake babies and shared the images with hospital staff. Hospital officials alerted police and other local hospitals.

Tonya Whitney has since been arrested and is facing a misdemeanor charge. Both she and her husband were interviewed at Merced police headquarters and she was issued a citation.

"Whitney says she makes and sells these dolls herself. She claims she was marketing them as therapy or training tools to Mercy Medical Center," reports ABC 30.

Whitney hopes that prosecutors believe her claim and that her charge is dropped.

More than 24 years ago, a baby was reportedly abducted from a Merced County community hospital.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.