Abduction probe woman detained

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The Independent Online

A woman suspected of abducting an 18-month-old toddler by pretending to be her mother at a police station has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Police arrested the 31-year-old woman in Harlesden, north London, on Sunday, on suspicion of taking Audrey Nyanor.

The youngster was abducted from Walworth police station where her mother was being questioned about alleged immigration offences.

The Metropolitan Police has launched an inquiry into how police handed the toddler to the wrong woman.

The child went missing last Thursday hours after officers arrested her mother Cynthia Boakye, 36, at an address in De Laune Street, Walworth.

The child's grandmother Agatha Owsuah, 54, said an officer asked her daughter who they could call to look after the baby.

They initially contacted Mrs Boakye's stepfather, but he was working and the number of a second relative was handed over.

The 18-month-old was later handed over to a woman claiming to be that relative, sparking a police manhunt when the mistake was uncovered.

Police asked for help tracing the toddler on Saturday and published CCTV images of her at the police station and a nearby Tube station.

A member of the public reported seeing Audrey at 2pm on Sunday and she was found with the 31-year-old woman in Harlesden High Street.

Another six people were arrested during the investigation which led to the incident.

One has been released and the other five are bailed to return to south London police stations in February next year.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "A 31-year old woman who was arrested on suspicion of the abduction of Audrey Kessie Nyanor in Walworth has been detained under the Mental Health Act."