In 1997, a Baby Was Stolen From Her Mom. Now, a Trial

Zephany Nurse was finally found in 2015
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2016 3:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2016 7:00 AM CST
In 1997, a Baby Was Stolen From Her Mom. Now, a Trial
Celeste Nurse, right, the biological mother of a girl that was kidnapped as a baby almost 19 years ago, arrives at court for the appearance of a woman suspected of the kidnapping in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 6, 2015.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

When the story broke one year ago, it was jaw-dropping: After South African schoolkids noticed a physical resemblance between two girls, a DNA test revealed that one of them was Zephany Nurse, a girl kidnapped as a baby in 1997 from a Cape Town hospital; the other, her younger sister. A then-50-year-old woman living just a few miles from Celeste and Morne Nurse was charged with kidnapping, and on Tuesday, her trial began. She has pleaded not guilty and is not being named to protect the identity of Zephany, who was raised under another name. From the coverage thus far:

  • The Washington Post's in-depth piece makes note of the eerie symbolism of the name Zephany, which means "the Lord has hidden" in Hebrew.

  • The BBC recounts Celeste's testimony about how, as an 18-year-old who had given birth three days prior by C-section, she recalled a woman in maroon clothes asking if she could pick up her crying child. "I was in pain and under medication. I fell asleep. Next thing I remember is the nurse asking where my child was."
  • In a plea explanation submitted to the court, the accused claims that a woman at a train station "handed a baby" to her on April 30, 1997, as part of a prearranged adoption. She said she initially had difficulty loving and accepting the child as her own, reports IOL.
  • The Cape Times has the Wednesday testimony of Shireen Piet, a woman who also gave birth at Groote Schuur Hospital and claims the accused tried to take her newborn on April 30, the same day Zephany vanished.
Read more on the case here. (More Zephany Nurse stories.)

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