Baby for Sale? Kidnapped Infant Back With Mother, But Not For Long

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Photo: Yair Anthony Carillo.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS/AP) It seemed like a happy ending – a kidnapped newborn baby was reunited with his mother in Nashville, days after the child was snatched. That's when the plot thickened.

The week-old infant, and his three siblings, were all promptly removed from their home and placed in foster care, amid allegations that a member of their own family had tried to sell the newborn, according to officials close to the case. State officials said the placement was for the children's safety.

It's not yet clear how or if the kidnapping and the baby-selling allegations are related.

What is clear is that week-old Yair Anthony Carillo was safely recovered in Alabama on Friday, three days after he was taken from his Nashville home, and his mother, 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla.

And an Alabama woman is in jail, facing a federal kidnapping charge.

Records in the custody hearing are closed, so details on the baby-selling allegations were not available Monday. Rob Johnson, a spokesman for the Department of Children's Services, and spokesmen for the FBI and Nashville police would not comment on the baby-selling report.

Two officials did confirm the baby-selling allegations but spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the case.

A closed custody hearing in juvenile court was set for Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said the investigation at first focused on finding the baby, but now is looking into exactly what happened and who was involved. Tammy Renee Silas, 39, of Ardmore, Ala., was charged in the case, after authorities found the baby at her home about 80 miles south of Nashville.

Gurrolla, the infant's mother, told investigators that after she was stabbed, the abductor made a phone call and said in Spanish "The job is done" and that the mother "was dying," according to the criminal complaint against Silas.

Investigators are still trying to answer "significant questions, perhaps the most important of which is why this newborn was chosen over everybody else in the city," Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.

Silas has given a statement to investigators, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm, who declined to detail what Silas said. No one could name a lawyer for Silas. Gurrolla and other family members could not be reached at her home on Monday, and it wasn't clear if they are being represented.

Silas has not been charged in the attack on Gurrolla, who was stabbed several times and suffered a collapsed lung. Gurrolla told police that her attacker claimed to be an immigration agent.

Gurrolla had pleaded for the baby to be returned at a news conference the day after the kidnapping. But her reunion with him on Saturday was short because state child welfare officials quickly took him and the other three children — ages 3, 9 and 11 — and placed them in foster care.

Gurrolla told investigators she had never seen the woman who stabbed her. According to the arrest warrant, Gurrolla was targeted while she and a cousin, identified only as "JS," were running errands and visiting a state food assistance office.

A car that police said Silas rented was seen on a surveillance video following Gurrolla before the attack, and the car rental information led police to her home.

Yair Anthony Carillo's father lives in Nashville, and Gurrolla's marital status was unclear. Police have said they were treating the case as a stranger kidnapping.

Police have not released a motive, but Silas' live-in boyfriend, Martin Rodriguez, told The Associated Press that she said she could not have children and wanted to adopt a child from a relative in Texas who was going to jail.