THE FATHER of Farrah Quli, the six-month-old girl abducted by a bogus childminder, said yesterday the kidnapper had 'done it out of love'. Farrah was kidnapped on Thursday by a 'very convincing' woman, calling herself Julie Watson, who answered a newspaper advertisement placed by Farrah's mother, Bernadette.
Shane Quli, 31, an advertising executive, who returned from Dubai yesterday, said: 'I pray and wish that somewhere in her heart she can understand what we're going through. I am sure she's done it out of love. Farrah is our baby, we love her dearly. If she loves her we love her a million times more. We want her back safely.'
Mrs Quli, 24, allowed 'Watson' to look after Farrah on her second visit to the family home in East Ham, east London, while she and her 12-year-old brother went swimming. She had not decided whether to offer her the job. She returned to find that 'Watson', Farrah, the baby's buggy and bottle and a photograph had gone.
Mrs Quli wept and appealed to the woman to return the girl, her only child. 'If she has a heart at all she should give her back,' she said. She said she needed a child minder so that she could return to work at a City bank after maternity leave.
'I thought she was genuine. She was just somebody you'd never think would do something like this. She adored her.'
Mr Quli said parents should be '200 per cent certain' before employing a carer. 'Take time, get as many references as possible, talk to friends, check addresses, check 'phone numbers.'
Police believe the woman simply wanted a child. Detective Superintendent Keith Fletcher said: 'There has been no ransom demand. We hope she is someone who wanted a baby rather than money.' He appealed for information. 'We've got a 26-ish- year-old woman who did not have a baby who is now walking around with one. Someone must live next to her.'
'Watson' is described as about 5ft 3in (1.6m) tall, plump, with frizzy dyed mousey-blond hair and freckles on her face and neck. Farrah is white with dark brown hair. She had a gold bangle on a wrist.
'Watson' told Mrs Quli she was from Norfolk and lived in Finsbury Park, north London, but was 'very evasive' about details, police said. She said she did not have a telephone. Her mother, who lived in New York, would send references, she said.
Det Supt Fletcher said that although the woman was not a registered child minder, she 'really knew how to look after children'. Farrah had taken to her 'straight away, which she doesn't do with other people'.
Child 'is safe', page 2
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies