Cops: Woman Snatches 7-Week-Old Baby From Stroller at Mall

She's since been apprehended, and the baby is fine
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2016 4:21 PM CDT
Cops: Woman Snatches 7-Week-Old Baby From Stroller at Mall
This image made from a surveillance video provided by the Upper Merion Township Police Department shows a woman leaving the King of Prussia Mall with 7-week-old Ahsir Simmons on Thursday in Philadelphia.   (Upper Merion Township Police Department via AP)

A woman befriended a mom and kids at Pennsylvania's King of Prussia Mall on Thursday night and then, when the mom was briefly distracted by her older children, grabbed the baby out of his stroller and ran off. Malika Hunter, the mother of 7-week-old Ahsir Simmons, ran after her, but turned back to check on a child still sitting at their food court table and lost track of her. A search was launched and surveillance video was released showing 32-year-old Cherie Amoore allegedly leaving the mall with Ahsir in her arms, and within hours, both had been found, 6ABC reports. Amoore, who was arraigned Friday on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and more, claims that she gave birth to a baby boy on Feb. 11, but he died shortly after birth and she never told anyone. "I just wanted my baby. I felt like I was holding my son again," she reportedly told police.

But police haven't been able to confirm her story, and friends tell 6ABC they're not sure Amoore was ever really pregnant. While talking to the baby's family at the mall, Amoore told his mother she had a baby around the same age; Hunter says Amoore seemed "nice" and like a "normal, average" person, NBC Philadelphia reports. Shortly before Amoore allegedly took Ahsir, she asked if she could hold him, but his mother refused. Then, when Hunter was distracted and Ahsir started to cry in his stroller, Amoore allegedly picked him up and left. Police say she took him to show her relatives and friends at a few different locations, and it was her family members who recognized her on the surveillance video that was released and called the cops. Ahsir was asleep in a carseat owned by Amoore when police found him; police say Amoore had also given him a bath and new pajamas. (Read more kidnapping stories.)

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