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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 5:11 pm | Fair 66º


Arraignment for Suspect in Newborn Abduction Continued to Thursday

Judge grants two-day postponement for defense preparation on hospital kidnapping charge

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge Tuesday granted a continuation of the arraignment of the woman arrested for the kidnapping of a newborn child at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Friday.

Leianna Arzate
Leianna Arzate

Leianna Patricia Arzate, 33, was granted a two-day continuation of her arraignment by Superior Court Judge Harry Loberg at the request of her public defender, who said that since the charges against her were filed Monday, Arzate would need more time to prepare her case and obtain an attorney.

Arzate was arrested Friday in Santa Maria after allegedly kidnapping a newborn boy, who was approximately 5 hours old when taken. According to police and witnesses, Arzate dressed as a nurse or nursing student and took the baby straight out of his mother’s arms. An in-house video camera still released by Santa Barbara police revealed the suspect may have removed the newborn from the hospital in a large purse.

Arzate was located and arrested hours later at a residence in Santa Maria. Police have not established any relationship between Arzate and the baby’s family.

The arraignment will continue Thursday. Bail has been set at $500,000.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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