Police look for break in kidnapping of an infant

Published: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 1, 2007 at 11:13 p.m.

NAPLES — It's been a month since little Bryan Dos Santos Gomes was snatched from his mother at knifepoint, and police are still looking for a break in the case.

A task force has run down more than 400 leads in the search for the infant, now a little more than two months old, Fort Myers police spokesman Shelly Flynn said. She described the hunt for the baby as "pretty much status quo."

Bryan has now been gone from his parents longer than he was with them.

"I spend the day waiting for the baby. There is no sense doing anything else," said the boy's mother, Maria Fatima Ramos Dos Santos. "Christmas was very strange this year. I went to church, but I felt like God had abandoned me."

Bryan was taken from his mother at knifepoint on Dec. 1 by a woman in an SUV who gave them a ride. Investigators said the baby might have been taken because his parents failed to pay human smugglers. Bryan's parents were brought into the United States illegally from Brazil, but failed to pay the smugglers' entire fee, police said. The parents have disputed this theory.

Police initially thought the boy was likely taken by a woman looking to steal a baby to claim as her own. Ramos, 23, said she still thinks "a crazy woman" took her son.

The boy's father, Jurandir Gomes Costa, 26, said he is frustrated by the focus on smugglers.

"I don't know the reason that it happened," he said. "We can't understand why it's taking the police so long to get this person. This lady has to be somewhere, and they need to catch her."

Information from: Naples Daily News

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