Woman in New Zealand faked a baby shower and wore a pregnancy suit before kidnapping a newborn
Woman infatuated with pregnancy kidnapped newborn baby girl from family she worked as a nanny for
By Sam Hurley
A hoax baby shower, fake pregnancy suit and an adoption claim preceded a newborn’s kidnapping in New Zealand as a young woman’s infatuation with being pregnant grew.
Nadene Faye Manukau-Togiavalu was working as a nanny for a family with a baby girl at their Epsom home in Auckland.
Her pregnancy delusion culminated with the kidnapping of the newborn.
Today, details of Manukau-Togiavalu’s offending were heard in the High Court at Auckland as her co-offender and 18-year-old cousin Sydnee Shaunna Toulapapa pleaded guilty to kidnapping and burglary.
Manukau-Togiavalu, 21, pleaded guilty to her part in the August 9 baby snatch at the Auckland District Court.
The High Court heard that Toulapapa had been coaxed into helping Manukau-Togiavalu, into taking the then 11-day-old baby from the Pah Rd home.
Toulapapa’s counsel Annabel Cresswell said Manukau-Togiavalu has serious health issues and had fabricated a story where she’d convinced her family and friends that she’d been forced to give up her baby.
She then sought help from Toulapapa, who was holidaying from Australia at the time, to help get the child back.
Prior to the child being taken for some six hours, Manukau-Togiavalu staged a fake baby shower and wore a pregnancy suit, social media photos provided to the Herald show.
About 80 police launched a major search after the baby girl was taken.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said at the time: “The baby’s parents are obviously very distraught and have been through a terrible ordeal and they are currently with their baby.
“This has been an extremely harrowing time for the new parents of a very young baby. We are relieved and thankful that the baby was not harmed and has been reunited with her parents.”
Toulapapa will be sentenced next month, while a date for Manukau-Togiavalu is yet to be set.
Manukau-Togiavalu is the cousin of the late up-and-coming league star Luke Tipene who was killed by Vincent Skeen, and gave evidence at Skeen’s murder trial.
She is also understood to be friendly with former Warriors and now Gold Coast Titans NRL star Konrad Hurrell.