Prosecutors have warned that a two-month-old baby's life was in danger after he was snatched from a hospital in the French city of Toulouse
Toulouse (France) (AFP) - A French hospital launched an urgent appeal Saturday for a man to return his kidnapped two-month-old son, warning that the little boy’s life was in grave danger.
Baby Tizio was undergoing emergency treatment for an undisclosed illness and was attatched to gastric and intravenous tubes when he was snatched on Friday evening from a children’s hospital in the southern city of Toulouse, triggering an abduction alert.
The authorities say his life is at risk if he does not receive immediate medical care.
“I want to talk to Brendan, Tizio’s father, to remind him of the gravity of his son’s condition, that his life is in danger, and he needs to take his boy to the nearest emergency department urgently,” the CHU Purpan hospital’s director Anne Ferrer told reporters.
“The medical team is ready to welcome Tizio or to pick him up from wherever he is,” she added.
- Abduction ‘incomprehensible’ -
A sign reads, "Abduction Alert - listen to the radio" above the ring road in Toulouse, southern France, on January 6, 2018
The 33-year-old unemployed father was separated from Tizio’s mother but they appeared to have been on cordial terms and he visited the baby in hospital every day.
A source close to the case said Tizio’s kidnapping was “incomprehensible”.
“He is a loving father who took care of his child,” prosecutor Pierre-Yves Couilleau.
CCTV cameras showed the father leaving hospital at about 7:30 pm, about an hour after medical staff last saw the baby.
Staff found the infant’s room empty at 9:30 pm, only alerting the mother three hours later.
Brendan, who had spent the day with Tizio, was described as tall and slender with a full beard and long black-brown curly hair.
The “abduction alert” in France was inspired by the Amber Alert child abduction system set up in the United States in 1996 after the kidnap and murder of a nine-year-old girl in Texas.
The French system has been used more than 20 times since it was established in 2006, and all the children were found safe and sound, all but two of them very quickly.