The Texas couple who claimed that they were intentionally sent home with the wrong baby by a hospital in El Salvador have now been reunited with the missing child.
Mercedes Casanellas and her husband Richard Cushworth are "thrilled" over the return of the baby after the couple told media about their plight, initially sharing their fear that their missing infant was possibly sold to human traffickers, the Daily Mail reported.
But rather than a criminal act, as the family suspected, it is possible that there was simply a mix-up, though an investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Both babies, who are now four months old, were returned to their respective families after investigators ordered DNA tests for mothers who delivered at Centro Ginecologico hospital in El Salvador.
"All the circumstantial evidence pointed to a criminal act, but the official story we are being told appears to show it was a mistake, a mix-up," paternal grandfather David Cushworth told the Daily Mail. "I can't say for sure what really happened. We'll have to see how it works out through the legal system before [we] can be certain."
The baby that Casanellas and Cushworth were raising has also been returned to its biological family, with Cushworth telling the Daily Mail that his family has signed a gag order and that the swap took place before a judge. Government officials have since spoke of privacy concerns for the families at the center of the bizarre story.
"The families need to keep it to themselves to protect the children's rights," Prosecutor General Luis Martinez told reporters.
Dr. Alejandro Guidos, the doctor who delivered the child at Centro Ginecologico hospital, is being prosecuted by the government, though he has declared his innocence against allegations that the mix-up was intentional, according to the BBC.
"We don't have anything against the people who were involved during the baby's birth, but we want all these people to put their hands on their hearts because from the doctor who performed the surgery, the paediatrician, anaesthesiologist, and the two nurses who were in the delivery room, it's very important for them to tell us what happened," said Francisco Meneses, a lawyer for Casanellas and Cushworth.
Casanellas and Cushworth initially questioned the baby's dark complexion, but they took him home to Dallas despite some reservations. In the end, though, Casanellas said that her "motherly instincts" told her that the baby wasn't hers.
After the couple finally had the courage to take a DNA test three months later, it reportedly revealed that the baby son they brought home had a 0 percent chance of being theirs, biologically speaking, leaving the husband and wife fearful that their baby was trafficked. That's when they went on a quest to find him.
Read the full story here.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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