Kidnap baby's mother tells of hoax agony: Karen Humphries, now reunited with her daughter Abbie, wonders how malicious callers could be so cruel. Simon Midgley reports
Tuesday 26 July 1994
Mrs Humphries, 32, told the Daily Mirror 'the hoaxes made me really angry. I just can't understand how anyone could be so cruel. I can't understand what they get from doing that.'
Early this month a distressed man claiming to be the abductor's husband made six calls to Central Television claiming to be Gary from Gloucester, whose wife had taken the baby. His calls came after an appeal by John Stalker, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, at the end of his programme Crime Stalkers.
At the time Mrs Humphries and her husband Roger, 33, were reported by police to be 'on their knees' waiting for news of their daughter.
Mrs Humphries also says that when she went into hospital the main story on the news was of the disappearance of Rosie Palmer, the three-year-old from Hartlepool, who had gone missing from home. When the news came that she had been found dead, Mrs Humphries feared that Abbie had suffered the same fate.
'It was just awful. It was a totally different set of circumstances. But it brought it very close to home. My thoughts were for Rosie Palmer's mum. I felt an affinity for her . . . I thought that Abbie could be found dead just as Rosie had been found dead. I dreaded that she'd be dumped somewhere or found in a dustbin.'
Recalling the early days of the abduction, Mrs Humphries said: 'The nights were awful at first because I was up all night, wandering around the house.
'I kept doing odd things like sitting in the bath in the middle of the night, just to relax and for something to do.'
Her husband Roger, meanwhile, was chain-smoking in the garden. Eventually the couple decided to spend a night apart to break their routine.
Mr Humphries went to stay in a relative's caravan, and went with friends to a country pub.
Mrs Humphries said: 'I had a quiet night in with Sue and we sat there and said 'You can guarentee that if something is going to happen it will happen tonight because Roger is not here - it would be panic stations.'
Mrs Humphries went to bed at about 11.30pm. She did not hear the phone ring at 2.29am. When she was woken, she rushed to the phone to hear Det Sgt Mick Roberts say: 'I think we've got her.'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...