Suspect's posting of baby girl's photo 'freaks out' parents in Iowa


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On her Facebook page Monday, Breona Moore posted a picture of a nude newborn. The baby, lying on a blanket with eyes closed tight and mouth open in mid-cry, was her son, she said, born that day by C-section.

But it wasn't her baby.

And it wasn't Bryce Coleman, the 3-day-old boy police said Ms. Moore kidnapped Thursday from his parents at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC by pretending to be a nurse. Instead, it was Harper Bowers, a girl born four years ago and half a nation away.

As police try to understand why, and how, Ms. Moore was able to kidnap a newborn baby from the Oakland hospital, Ben and Kristi Bowers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are trying to discover why, and how, a photo of their daughter wound up on the Facebook page of a 19-year-old Pittsburgh woman.

"I feel really violated," said Kristi Bowers, a part-time photographer and mother of four young children. "I know the Internet is out there for everybody, but you just don't think about somebody doing that to you."

In 2008, when she was pregnant with her first child, Mrs. Bowers started "Harper's Weblog," an online journal to track her pregnancy, then her delivery, and then the first several months of Harper's life.

Her daughter, an August baby, was delivered by C-section, and moments after her birth, Mr. Bowers snapped a photo of Harper on a blanket. It was the first picture of his first child, and Mr. Bowers can remember the moment he took it. That photo, and many more that followed, were posted to Mrs. Bowers' blog and shared with friends and family.

Harper, who turned 4 this month, has three younger siblings, including twins born four months ago. Although she still catalogs the lives of her children, Mrs. Bowers uses other methods. The blog has been inactive for nearly three years, she said.

Thursday night, Mr. Bowers was watching the news when he heard a baby had been kidnapped from, then safely returned to, a Pittsburgh hospital.

"I mentioned it to my wife, and she -- we -- both kind of just got a sick feeling in our stomach, because with having a bunch of little kids in our house, you think of it, the security of it," he said.

Yet he had no idea, until a reporter called him Friday, that his daughter's photograph was posted on the Facebook page of the woman who had been arrested for the kidnapping.

"You're kidding me," he said.

The Bowers said it was hard to understand how their daughter's picture ended up on the Facebook page of a woman they've never met. Mrs. Bowers contacted Facebook on Friday to ask them to take the picture down.

neigh_city

Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1707.


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