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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baby Abducted, Mother Leaps to Her Death

Moscow police were still searching Monday for a 4-week-old baby whose mother killed herself after the boy was stolen out of his carriage while she wasn't looking,

Irina Nisevich, 30, leaped from a window in her eighth-floor apartment on 4th Sokolnicheskaya Ulitsa in northern Moscow on Friday afternoon. Friends said she wasdistraught over the abduction of her son, Yegor.

The woman left the baby carriage at the entrance of a gynecological clinic while she went inside to give flowers to her doctor, Faina Shcherbakova, on Tuesday evening. Nisevich decided not to bring her son inside with her because of the Russian superstition that no one but the parents should see a baby until it is 40 days old, Shcherbakova said.

After the two women talked for about three minutes, Nisevich went outside to find her baby gone. She rushed back into the clinic, and Shcherbakova's assistant immediately called police, who arrived within five minutes.

Police started combing the area and questioning witnesses, who gave conflicting accounts of the abduction, according to reports in the Russian press.

Some said a man snatched the baby and hurried away on foot. Others said Yegor was taken by some men to a nearby street and whisked away in a foreign-made car with shaded windows. A police dog followed their tracks, the Segodnya newspaper reported.

However, police Monday would not confirm or deny the reports. The captain heading up the search team also would not comment on motives for the kidnapping.

Newspaper reports have speculated that Yegor was abducted by professional criminals to be later sold to a childless couple or used as an organ donor. Other reports said he might have been taken by beggars to arouse pity.

Only one other abduction of a child has been reported in the Moscow area in the past three decades. A childless woman kidnapped an infant girl from a baby carriage in 1984, police said.

"We should and we will find the baby," said the captain, who asked that his name not be printed. He said Yegor's photo has been sent to police stations across Russia, and Interpol has taken up the search beyond Russia's borders.

The abduction has been heavily covered by Russian newpapers and television stations, which also have shown the little boy's picture.But the extensive coverage also has been blamed in part for Nisevich's death.

"We don't want to accuse anyone personally, but she had managed to live with this amassing of the press at the entrance of their apartment for three days and then it was all over," the captain said.

Some reporters who covered the kidnapping saga said they could see the police's point.

The restless reporters "could have played a role [in Nisevich's death]," said Sergei Topol of Commersant Daily, who covered both the kidnapping and the suicide. "There are some moral barriers that should never be crossed," he said, adding that he chose not to interview the missing child's parents.

Some who did interview them said Monday that they did not feel at fault.

"Everybody is doing his job," said Alexander Palnikov of the NTV television program Kriminal that covers crime.

A friend of the mother's said it was not reporters who drove Nisevich to suicide.

"This is nonsense," said the woman, who didn't want her name printed. She said she saw Nisevich for the last time Thursday and she was unable to cope with the feeling of guilt for leaving her little son alone on a Moscow street.

Nisevich had fallen into an emotional "coma" while being given tranquilizers by her husband, Dmitry, the friend said. The husband, she said, had endured sleepless nights while fielding phone calls and taking care of his wife. After finally collapsing, he was asleep when his wife got up Friday afternoon and jumped out of the window, the woman's friend said.

Irina Nisevich was to be buried at a Moscow area cemetery Tuesday.

Last year, 1,347 men and 609 women killed themselves in Moscow. Most hanged themselves or leaped from heights, city health officials said .

The police captain urged those who had information about the abduction to call the task force at 264-0755 or the Moscow police's hot line at 200-9309.