Anaconda moms react to missing mom with newborn baby


Anaconda moms react to missing mom with newborn baby

BUTTE, Mont. - Authorities issued an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Michelle Yallup. She's accused of checking in at the Anaconda hospital under her sister's name while high on meth Tuesday night.

Early Wednesday morning, Yallup walked out of hospital with the baby. Butte police suspect two other women helped her sneak out.

Officers tracked a car to a home in Butte but Yallup wasn't there. Instead, police found her sister and arrested her on a probation violation.

We wanted to know what steps the hospital took to secure a newborn child that's potentially at risk.

NBC Montana called the Community Hospital of Anaconda three times Thursday morning. When we hadn't received a call back we went there, but the hospital declined to make a statement on their security policies and procedures.

With no comment from the hospital, we had to track down a mother who had recently given birth.

"Her name is Kimberland Nicholson," said Anaconda mom Krysten Nicholson, of her new baby.      

Nicholson gave birth to baby Kimberland two months ago at Community Hospital of Anaconda. She said the hospital definitely put restrictions on her and her daughter.

"With my daughter, we weren't allowed to walk her around holding her, she had to be in her little bassinet thing they give you," said Nicholson. "And you weren't allowed to take her past the nurses' station, so they do have rules on where you take the child."

Other mothers we spoke with shared similar experiences going back several years.

"I went for a walk with him and they said you couldn't go down the hallway, he was to stay in the room or with other people, so I took him back to the room," said Anaconda mom Sheila Podobnik.

Court records outline exactly what police say happened early Wednesday morning. They claim Yallup tried to leave after giving birth, but hospital officials advised against it based on the baby's condition.

Court records say the baby was exposed to meth and marijuana before it was born.

Police said Yallup met with two other women late that night. They went for a walk with the baby and left in a waiting vehicle.

Women we spoke to in the community said they're surprised that Yallup was able to slip out of the hospital.

"They're usually on top of stuff like that," said Anaconda mom Lisa Marry. "And somebody walking out of there? That's a big surprise."

"If they're trying to be that sneaky I guess they could," said Podobnik.

"People don't think twice though," said Nicholson. "When you're walking out of the hospital with your baby, I mean it's your child."

Anaconda police are following leads to find the mother and her child. They've searched homes of family members in Butte, Great Falls and Belt.

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