Woman charged with abduction of an infant

Posted On Monday May 10, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 10, 2021     11:30am 

(Ottawa) — The Ottawa Police Sexual Assault and Child Abuse (SACA) Unit has charged a Quebec woman with multiple offences after the abduction of an eight day old newborn baby on Sunday afternoon.

At approximately 1:40pm on Sunday, May 9th a woman attended the home of the new born and his family in the West end of Ottawa.

The woman had previously engaged with the mother of the child on a social media chat group for new mothers and had brought a gift for the mother and new born at their home on Friday.

The woman returned to the family’s residence on Sunday and forcefully entered the home, used bear repellent spray (oleoresin of capsaicin) to subdue the occupants, abducted the baby and left. 

Neighbours were alerted by the activity and intervened. One neighbor was able to locate the accused with the baby, distance away from the residence, and detained her until police arrived. The baby was attended to by Ottawa Paramedics who determined that he was unharmed.

SACA investigators believe that the accused may have been in contact with other new mothers via social media mother groups.

Nicole SHANKS, 32 year old, from Shawville, Quebec was charged with:

  • Administer noxious substance with intent to endanger life x3
  • Abduction of a person under fourteen
  • Possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace
  • Break and Enter of  a house with intent
  • Assault with a weapon
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Harassment by watching and besetting
  • Assault

 The investigation continues.

 Anyone with information regarding this abduction is asked to call the Sexual Assault Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944. 

 Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.   

- 30 -

SACA Staff Sergeant Martin Groulx will be available to speak to media via Zoom at 1:00pm today. 

Media are asked to register with media.relations@ottawapolice.ca by 12:30pm.



Media Relations Section

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366