A Philadelphia woman accused of befriending a woman at a mall then stealing her baby was convicted of felony kidnapping and concealment charges on Friday.
Cherie Amoore, 33, took the 7-week-old while at the King of Prussia mall (KOP) on March 31, 2016. Amoore approached a couple with their two children, including the infant, and chatted up the mom at the mall’s food court. When the baby began to cry, the 33-year-old—taking advantage of the mom’s preoccupation with her toddler and a phone call—picked him up and left the mall, according to court records obtained by The Intelligencer.
The infant, who was unharmed, was found several hours later at Amoore’s apartment. The Associated Press (AP) reported that she told police that she took the 7-week-old because she recently lost a newborn and wanted to hold a child again.
— Dave Schratwieser (@DSchratwieser) March 24, 2017
“I held him and all those feelings rushed back. I just wanted my baby. It felt like i was holding my son again. It felt so good. I didn’t want to lose that feeling. I was crazy”
The story gets more convoluted: Prosecutors say Amoore was never pregnant. She reportedly passed the kidnapped child off to her parents as their grandchild—even allowing them to memorialize their brief time together with pictures.
The 33-year-old admitted she told family and friends that she gave birth after realizing a home pregnancy test produced a false positive. Prosecutors alleged she continued to let loved ones believe she was expecting, allowing family to throw her a baby shower, The Inquirer reported.
Marc Steinberg, Amoore’s lawyer, withdrew an insanity defense at trial and said he would present witnesses at his client’s sentencing. Judge William Carpenter deferred sentencing until he can gather more information about Amoore.
Amoore faces a maximum of 13 to 27 years in prison. Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ringwood said she intends to seek a lengthy prison sentence.
The 33-year-old is currently free on $500,000 secured bail.
[Feature Photo: Monroe County District Attorney]