Leila Rajnarie Being Questioned After Allegedly Snatching Her Baby From Foster Care In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The mother of a Queens baby was in custody and being questioned by police Wednesday night following a citywide search.

An AMBER Alert was issued earlier in the evening for 8-month-old Nevita Jagdeo, who authorities said was taken by her non-custodial mother, 40-year-old Leila Rajnarie, on Wednesday afternoon.

Rajnarie was having a meeting with the baby’s foster parent at Queens General Hospital Pediatric Center around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.

Authorities said Rajnarie, who was accompanying the baby for her regular checkup, grabbed the child in the middle of the meeting when the foster mother and doctor were speaking in another room and ran out of the hospital.

Police searched the area around the hospital and Rajnarie’s Woodhaven, Queens neighborhood for hours.

Wednesday night, officers observed a female fitting the description of Rajnarie sitting in the rear of a livery cab near 133rd Street and 101st Avenue. Rajnarie was immediately taken into custody and the baby was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but had no visible injuries.

State Police said that the child was previously taken from the mother due to child abandonment and mental health reasons. Some of her neighbors said Rajnarie is troubled.

“Maybe she’s depressed…sometime when people depressed, they don’t know what they doing,” Nery Paradis told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

A business owner, who asked not to be identified, said Rajnarie often asked him for money, and told him she was fighting the child’s father for custody.

“She asked me for money for the bus. She left. Another three days later, she said ‘My husband is in the hospital with the baby and he’s trying to take [her] away from me’ or whatever, ‘Can you give me money for a cab?'” the business owner said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • andy

    She needs to be jailed for life. Its not her child anymore. She only gave birth to it, and that’s it. She is someone else s baby now.


    She may be depressed or after birth blues, either way she needs some help. Who knows maybe the father has other ideas n she is not part of them. Check everything b4 lableing her something she’s not!!!

  • Mayor Mike

    These Amber Alerts are the dumbest thing around. Almost all the time it is a non-custodial parent who took the child for a few hours without permission but with zero intention of causing harm. Amber Alerts should only be used if a child is kidnapped by a stranger with intent to harm them.

  • karen

    please give us more info – mother’s name, physical description, what was the baby wearing. these kind of meetings need to be supervised, not just the foster mom, but some from family services, hospital security (be proactive and let the people who whine about civil liberties just sit down). there are too many bad outcomes to these kinds of news items. the baby’s welfare should be the prime concern. once the info is released, good people of ny do the right thing and drop a dime if you know the whereabouts. this isn’t “snitching,” but looking out for the well-being of a defenseless baby. mom if you’re listening – do the right thing. go to a firehouse, another hospital er and leave the baby with them. the safe haven program is forgiving.

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