Charges: Brooklyn Park baby snatcher faked pregnancy

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The woman arrested for kidnapping a two-month-old boy from a Brooklyn Park apartment early Tuesday morning had allegedly convinced her boyfriend that the infant was their child, according to charges filed Thursday.

WCCO reports 34-year-old Thalia Tonice Benson of St. Paul was a friend of the boy's mother, Christina Alonzo.

Alonzo told police that she fell asleep on her couch at Moonraker Apartments with baby Elijah and her 3-year-old child. The infant's grandparents and Benson were the only other people in the house at the time.

The complaint states Alonzo awoke around 1:30 a.m. and put her toddler to bed, but Elijah was no longer on the couch. She called Benson, who had left the apartment, and asked if she knew where the baby was, but Benson denied any knowledge.

Alonzo assumed Elijah was sleeping with his grandparents in another room, so she took the other child into her bedroom and went to sleep.

Later that morning, Benson called Alonzo around 6 a.m. to see if she had found the infant and arrived at the apartment shortly after. Benson and Alonzo questioned the grandparents, who didn't have the baby either.

After police were called, Benson agreed to allow officers to search her St. Paul apartment.

Police found the baby in a vehicle not far from Benson's home being cared for by Benson's boyfriend, who told police that Benson convinced him that she had recently given birth to the baby and he was father.

The boyfriend showed police several text messages to back up his story.

According to FOX 9, the boyfriend told investigators that Benson arrived at the St. Paul apartment after midnight with Elijah and only a bottle--no car seat, baby clothes or diaper bag.

He said Benson left their apartment at 4 a.m. to get diapers. When she didn't return, he called Benson, who told him Alonzo's baby was missing and that she was helping police.

She instructed the boyfriend to leave the apartment with the baby shortly after police arrived to begin their search, FOX says.

Alonzo told WCCO Wednesday night that she will remain friends with Benson.

If convicted of kidnapping, Benson could face up to 40 years in prison.

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