Alert taxi driver, hotel receptionist helped crack baby kidnap case in Kottayam hospital

Neethu Raj
Neethu Raj will be shifted to the women's jail in Kottayam.

Kottayam: Quick thinking and timely action helped in cracking soon the baby kidnapping case reported from the Kottayam Medical College Hospital on Thursday.

The incident also shed light on how informed, responsible citizens could help investigators in solving cases. Along with Gandhi Nagar Sub-inspector P S Raneesh and his team, taxi driver Alex Sebastian and hotel receptionist Elizabeth, too, deserve credit for the roles they played in preventing the alleged kidnapper from fleeing and reuniting the newborn with her mother Aswathi within a couple of hours after the incident.

The abductor, a woman, who was nabbed by the police within a few hours from the locality admitted to cops that she took away a newborn from the hospital ward in an attempt to win her lover back.

Driver Alex

Driver Alex Sebastian was with friends at the nearby taxi stand when two bike-borne men informed them of a baby missing case from the Medical College Hospital. The same time, Sebastian received a call from Hotel Floral Park, asking him to take a guest to Ernakulam. The driver left for the hotel immediately.

Receptionist Elizabeth told Sebastian that he has to drop off a woman, who also has a newborn. The mention of the baby made Sebastian suspicious, and he told Elizabeth of an infant that had gone missing from the hospital.

The receptionist passed on the information to the hotel manager, who alerted the police, who swung into action and took the woman, Neetu Raj, into custody and rushed the baby back to her mother.

Early Friday morning, Sebastian had a trip to the international airport at Nedumbassery. He returned to the taxi stand in the afternoon. By then the news media has flashed his role in cracking the case.

Sebastian returned to a grand welcome. Even strangers lauded him for his good work. Along with several gifts, friends also gave him a new name, 'Minnal' Alex for his lightening fast action!

Meanwhile, Sebastian's wife Bincy, too, had seen the news on television. She prepared her husband's favourite dish, chapati and chicken curry, and accorded him a hero's welcome along with their now-ecstatic and super proud children, Roshan and Royal.

Sebastian, however, is as humble as always. "All by God's grace," he said.

Receptionist Elizabeth 

Elizabeth of Kollamparambil in Gandhi Nagar has been working as a receptionist at Hotel Floral Park for the past four years.

The alleged kidnapper, Neethu Raj, had been staying in the hotel for four days, and is familiar to Elizabeth. Neethu's stay did not evoke any suspicion since the hospital is near the medical college hospital.

As Elizabeth noticed Neethu carrying an infant, who was not with her till that day, she got suspicious. After taxi driver Alex Sebastian told her of a missing newborn, Elizabeth grew more suspicious and informed her manager.

On returning home, Elizabeth broke the news of the kidnapping to her husband Shaijan, but did not reveal her role in cracking the case. He came to know of her part only on Friday morning.

Several people, including the hotel's managing director, rang up to congratulate Elizabeth. The mother of six-year-old Johnson, Elizabeth said she could understand the pain of a mother who has lost her child. 

"I will never forget the day in my life," she said.

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