It is the nightmare of every parent. Je kind is geboren, je bent nog in het ziekenhuis en ineens krijg je te horen: je baby is weg. It happens to the Dordrecht couple Kees and Betty 1988. Heel het land leeft mee met de ouders van Baby René.

"It's like putting eleven days in a movie, each of which hour 24 uur duurt. Het is de onmacht en de onwetenheid van ‘waar is ‘t ie?'"

Merwedeziekenhuis in Dordrecht - Beeld uit Vergeten Verhalen van TV Rijnmond

Merwede Hospital in Dordrecht – Image from Forgotten Tales of TV Rijnmond

In de nacht van 23 op 24 oktober 1988 Panic breaks out in the Dordrecht Merwede Hospital. One of the newborns, René, five days old, is weg. "At about 1 they have woken me ", says Betty, terugdenkend the night. "Lies René in your bed, she asked. I say no. And the nurse just walks away. And after ten minutes she comes back. She pulled the covers off of me and said "he is really not with you. '"

Betty asks the nurse if there is something going on. Ja, dat is er. Her son is gone.

At Dagblad De Dordtenaar (now part of the AD) Kees Thies works as a reporter. He's at the police station on the Nassauweg as he 24 October hear that a baby has been kidnapped. "But beyond a confirmation did the police do not go", sets Thies uit.

What
The police is working hard to turn the whole hospital upside down in the search for Rene. "When I think back then I still see the detectives on the roof of the hospital walk to look for René", says Betty. "And if my husband thinks back to that period than he looks like the garbage of the hospital be emptied at the parking lot."

The police there will not even sure there is a kidnapping. Someone may have a child somewhere left.

Bill
But soon the police will nevertheless concluded that there was a kidnapping. A note is found in hospital. And state: ‘1 baby – 7.500 gld’. Ook zijn steekwoorden te lezen die er op wijzen dat de ontvoerders van René mogelijk hebben gereisd via het veer Vlissingen – Breskens. But it turns out to be a astray.

The father and mother do from the hospital a call to the "kidnappers". Ze willen een levensteken van René en ze smeken de ontvoerders om het kind goed te verzorgen.

The police, meanwhile, keeps the jaw on the progress of the investigation. And while the media on top of the case. "At one point we had the idea that the baby would be taken to a houseboat in Gorinchem", says Thies. "We do not mind that basically look. I have half a night rondgebanjerd there with a photographer together. You wanted so much that the matter was resolved. "

Catherine C.
Dan neemt een vertrouwensarts contact op met de politie. The doctor has a very strong suspicion that one of his patients with a baby comes along not been pregnant at all. Ook staat ze niet onder controle van een gynaecoloog of een consultatiebureau.

The woman is the 21 jarige Catherine C.. She is a psychiatric patient who was treated at the Merwede Hospital. She can not have children, but the desire to have children is so great, she fills her clothes for months, making it seem as if she is pregnant. After nine months, she goes to the hospital and at the Department of Obstetrics she takes one of the newborn babies with. It's a boy. Het is René.

Op 8 November police raid at an apartment in Torenstraat. There is sleeping small René in a crib. The 21-year-old woman was arrested.

"The party could not", says Betty. "We celebrated at the police, a very large party in the hospital. Biscuit with mice at the police station. Lovely. Just fantastic he is found. "

Baby René komt weer thuis. Beeld uit Vergeten Verhalen van TV Rijnmond.

René baby comes home again. Image from Forgotten Tales of TV Rijnmond.

A few days later, the entire family welcomed at the family home in Dordrecht district Tail. At least thirty journalists are the couple waiting for. "There was a festive atmosphere in the street. I also had ", says Thies. "That's not so crazy after eleven days, day and night. So, we went quickly make this picture, and I can remember that I am then dove into my bed and have to sleep with one piece. "

"But all the events still have a long impact on my life", sluit Betty of. "Every year when it is not a birthday gift too large. No effort is spared to ensure that he just has a great birthday. You become aware that you back extra celebrating his birthday with him. Thank God did. "

Catherine C. is declared fully compos mentis. She is sentenced to a hospital order treatment that can be renewed every two years. The woman is no longer secure.