On February 22, 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Erickson welcomed their daughter Evelyn Ruth into this world. Born at the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, Evelyn was reportedly a big baby, weighing in at 16 lbs (7.3 kg).
Mr. Erickson was eager to see the newborn but was informed by a nurse that he would have to wait a couple of days. They did permit him to sit outside of the hospital room and he was kept updated as to the progress that his wife and baby were making.
The nurse on duty had gone to dinner around 7 PM and when she returned, mom was still asleep but baby Evelyn was gone. Panic ensued. Could someone have kidnapped the baby?
Then, it was learned that an orderly had seen Mr. Erickson leaving the hospital with what appeared to be a small bundle hidden beneath his overcoat.
Hospital staff raced off to the Erickson home at 366 48th Street only to find out that there was nobody there.
A little detective work determined that he had gone to the 350 53rd Street home of friend Charles Knupsen, unwrapped the baby, and proudly displayed his newborn daughter. When a family member questioned if Evelyn could catch a cold, he replied, “Nonsense! She is a fine baby.”
As proud as Albert Erickson was of his newborn daughter, he was ordered to immediately return the baby to the hospital. He reluctantly agreed to do so.
Evelyn was examined by the staff at the hospital. They found her to be no worse for wear and she was expected to fully recover.
Dad, on the other hand, was told that he could no longer visit his daughter at the hospital unless he was accompanied by a staff member.