St. Louis 'Stolen Babies' Mystery Deepens
'Glaring inconsistencies' in record could point to cover-up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2015 4:49 AM CDT
In this April 29, 2015, photo, Zella Jackson Price poses for a photo at her attorney’s office in Clayton, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – The "stolen babies" mystery uncovered by the touching reunion of Zella Jackson Price and her long-lost daughter keeps getting murkier. Price says she was told by a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis that her daughter died soon after birth in 1965, but adoption records cited in a letter obtained by the AP contradict key parts of her account, stating that the baby girl was born at a different hospital—and Price abandoned her. Her lawyer, Albert Watkins, says the "glaring inconsistencies" in the record suggest that there has been a cover-up and add evidence to the theory that the hospital stole and sold Price's baby. He tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the letter lists City Hospital No. 1, which mainly dealt with white patients, and Price has told him that she wouldn't even drive into that part of town during the segregated mid-1960s.

Price says the letter contains many other mistakes, including her age and information about what it calls the "putative biological father." As for the claim she abandoned the girl: "That's the biggest lie ever told," Price tells the AP. "I have five other children. They're all spoiled like they were only children. Why would I give up this one?" Watkins, who suspects the records may have been falsified as part of a scheme to steal Price's baby and possibly many more, is trying to obtain more records, although state privacy laws about adoptions are proving to be an obstacle, the Post-Dispatch reports. And he's not the only one seeking information: A city health department spokesman tells the AP that 282 women have requested medical records since St. Louis police began their investigation. (More on the case here.)