A Texas babysitter is accused of kidnapping a 1-year-old boy and trying to pass him off as her and her ex-boyfriend’s child so they could live together as a family, KXAS-TV reports.
Police told the news station that Wendy Hernandez, 35, had been babysitting the boy, Jeremias Portillo, for several months when on April 29, she asked his mother if she could take him on a day trip to visit an aunt in Plano.
The mother, Ana Lilian Escobar, granted permission so long as Hernandez and the boy returned by the afternoon.
Later in the day, Hernandez phoned Escobar to say she couldn’t get back until the morning because of a dangerous storm.
Escobar said she was uncomfortable with the idea but agreed to Hernandez’s plans.
However, when Hernandez never returned in the morning and stopped responding to calls and text messages, Escobar went to the police.
“In that moment, honestly, I was thinking the worst,” Escobar told the news station.
Police tracked down the “aunt” Hernandez was purportedly visiting, who actually turned out to be a family friend.
The woman reportedly told investigators that Hernandez did not visit her, but that she did call her and said not to reveal her location.
The friend told police that Hernandez went to North Little Rock, Arkansas, to meet a former boyfriend.
Police later tracked Hernandez down and she reportedly confessed to the kidnapping plot, telling police that she had brought the child to her ex to convince him the baby was his. The two then agreed to live together as a family.
Authorities shut down that dream when they arrived in North Little Rock the following day and arrested Hernandez. Officers did not arrest the boyfriend and he is not expected to face charges.
The 1-year-old was soon returned to his mother.
“It was the happiest day of my life,” Escobar said.
Hernandez faces life in prison for kidnapping, although it’s possible she will get a lighter sentence because she has admitted to the crime.
Court records suggest she may be an undocumented immigrant. Part of her plea agreement says she recognizes that she may be deported after serving the sentence if officials discover she is an illegal immigrant.
Hernandez will be sentenced in February.
[Feature photo: Forth Worth Police]