A woman allegedly put on weight to trick her husband – 10 years her junior – into thinking that she was pregnant so that he would not leave her.
And after returning home empty-handed after supposedly giving birth, she then allegedly concocted a story saying the baby was in intensive care with heart problems.
Shirly Maria Bolanos Ramos, from the municipality of Soledad, in the northern Colombian department of Atlantico, allegedly tricked her partner Danny Junior Rada Guerrero, ages not reported but he is reportedly 10 years younger than her, into thinking that she was pregnant and he only found out about the hoax almost three months after she supposedly gave birth.
Danny was convinced that he had become a father on 17th August after taking his partner to the Adelita de Char de Soledad clinic to give birth.
Danny claimed that he was not allowed to attend the birth due to difficulties during labour and when Shirly came home the next day empty-handed, she told him the baby girl was in the intensive care unit due to heart problems and that only she was allowed to visit her.
Danny said that he trusted his partner and that every day she would leave to go to the clinic, showing him photos, supposedly of his baby girl. He also noted that she was losing weight around her tummy.
The man said that he had no reason to believe that the baby in the pictures was not his daughter because he could see that the baby was wearing the same clothes that they had bought for her together.
At first, it did not strike him as strange that there were no nurses in the pictures, which did not look like they had been taken in a hospital and that the arms of the mother in the photos holding the newborn baby were darker than those of his wife.
But in October, Danny finally went to the clinic on his own and was stunned that no one there could tell him where his daughter was. It is still unclear who the baby in the pictures was.
Danny confronted Shirly and she at first reportedly claimed that she had had a phantom pregnancy. Then she reportedly cried and told him that she had actually had an abortion in the eighth month of the pregnancy.
So Danny, unsure what to believe anymore, went to the police and filed a complaint, with the authorities detaining Shirly because they believed that they might be facing a case of child trafficking or the disappearance of a minor.
But the woman, once arrested, finally came clean and said that she had been unable to conceive for nine years and had invented everything so that her partner, who is 10 years younger than her, would not abandon her.
Leonela Barraza, manager of the Adelita de Char Clinic, reportedly confirmed this to local media, saying that Shirly “does not have a document of any pregnancy test in the system […]”.
And when Danny asked about the time he took Shirly to the emergencies department of the clinic to deliver the baby in August, they said that her admission had been for “general illness and only for the emergency service.”
The clinic said that the woman had complained of headaches or neck pain to justify her long stays at the medical centre so that Danny would not suspect anything.
Shirly is currently unaccounted for, after escaping from the authorities while receiving a medical evaluation at the same clinic, according to local media.
It is currently unclear what charges she could face and if the authorities are actively looking for her.