A newborn is stolen from a swap meet.

A baby photo of Jacqueline Castaneda.

Jacqueline Castaneda


Gender: Female
DOB: 1/14/01
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Defining Characteristics: Heart-shaped birthmark on her upper right arm


A man and a woman walk with a toddler past a bright yellow railing.

The family went to a crowded swap meet

In May of 2001, Olivia Castaneda arrived at a swap meet outside Phoenix, Arizona, with her two children and her mother:

“My husband dropped me off there with my two babies, my two year-old Niely, and Jacqueline, my four month-old baby. I took Jacqueline out of the car with her car seat, and Niely, I took her walking.”

A woman leaves her baby carrier outside as she takes her toddler into a portapotty.

She left Jacqueline outside for a moment

Before meeting her mother inside, Olivia needed to use the rest room. She finally found a portable bathroom. Finding it too cramped and dirty, she made a decision that would lead to tragedy:

“Jacqueline couldn’t fit inside, so I just took my two year-old, Niely, inside the rest room ’cause she could have walked away if I left her outside. I was in the rest room, like, for a minute, when I came out, Jacqueline wasn’t there anymore.”

A woman with short brown hair wearing a green tank top carrying a toddler with blonde hair.

She looked everywhere for the missing baby

Hoping that her mother had taken the baby, Olivia rushed into the swap meet:

“I felt more upset and more nervous when I saw my mom was by herself. She didn’t have the baby. And that’s when I felt I was going to die. I mean, I just–I didn’t know what to do.”

A police officer stops a black SUV and questions the driver through the open window.

Police inspected every car

After 20 minutes of searching booth to booth, the police were called. According to Sgt. Mark Lucas of the Avondale Police Department, they immediately sealed off the swap meet:

“There was an officer stationed at all the exits and along the fence line. And as cars were leaving, we would check the vehicles as they left. As people were leaving the side exits through the gates, we would go ahead and check them, make sure they weren’t carrying an infant or had a car-carrier.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season eight with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Christina

    I really wish people would view this tragic story with a more empathetic view instead of such an apathetic one!! Everyone makes mistakes. It is human nature, unfortunately some mistakes are catastrophic and devastate lives. It’s that split second decision that only took a second to make but you spend your whole life wishing you could get a “do over”. It happens to the basketball it is a one second decision that has now devastated that mother’s life. Now do you think that it is kind of people to leave the comments that they have been leaving. She is a mother who has to live with this, live without her baby girl until God willing they are reunited. When it comes to empathy, which means you feeling that person’s pain, having the ability to put yourself in that person’s position, seeing their pain from their point of view, not yours. Empathy is not feeling her pain and on the same breath pointing out what you think she did wrong or what you may have done different. This is not empathy people it is the opposite, apathy. Oh and my favorite unempathetic comments are those who say there never was a baby to begin with, that maybe she did something to her baby before they even went to that meet. REALLY people! You don’t think she comes on these sites and looks over these comments. Oh God, I sit here and I feel for her and her family. I try to imagine what she’s feeling when she’s reading these comments and I just cannot imagine how devasting and hurtful these comments are for her. I lost my son in a store for about 4 to 5 minutes. That feeling, I can’t even describe, there are no words, only lasted for 4 to 5 minutes. They were the longest minutes of my entire life. I can’t imagine having to stretch them 4 to 5 minutes through years coupled with such crippling hurt and pain. So, please people think before you comment, try to dig deep and find some empathy, and if you can’t compassion goes a very long way.
    For the family, I am very very sorry for your pain and for those who are unable to view your truly sad and emotional story with some empathy. I really hope that the day will come when you finally get your baby girl back. I will keep you, your family, and especially your baby girl in my prayers.


  2. Jackson Garcia

    he context in which a value comment is made is crucial. A statement that holds true in one context may not in another. For example, the value of time might be discussed differently in a business setting than in a casual conversation among friends.


  3. Lucio

    Totally unsympathetic comments. I don’t think leaving your baby outside a portapotty for one minute is something many many people would do, and 99.9999% of the time it would not result in a kidnapping. Give me a break people. Typical comments from people with no empathy.


  4. Bubba

    That’s bad parenting


  5. A

    Why didn’t she just take the baby out of the car seat and just put the baby on her lap and pee but yet she could fit the toddler in there no mother is ever leaving a baby outside of porta potty


  6. Young Mom

    This never sat well with me. I had my children when I was a teenager many years ago. Age has nothing to do with being irresponsible and reckless. This woman was much older than I was when I had 3 small children and I knew better than to do something like that. It was a different world back then, yes. However, her mother was at the swap meet. She could have taken both the kids to her mother at the booth since she knew where it was then used the restroom. Or if it was that urgent, she could have left the kids in the car with their father, entered, used the restroom, then came back for the kids. That is just common sense. That woman knows what happened to her baby. In all honesty, I don’t think she ever brought that baby in the first place. They sealed off the exit, you can’t move that quickly with a baby carrier, in a crowded place without drawing attention. That’s why they never found the baby, because it was never there in the first place. Something sinister happened before the swap meet and this was just a cover so she wouldn’t get caught. Yes, it is speculation, but look at the minds of sick mothers who kill their kids. this gives Casey Anthony vibes. Sorry, not sorry for the comment.


    • Steven Seagull

      That’s a very delusional take…. I think you’ll find “common sense” isn’t so common among the general population or the fact that us humans can get very complacent, sloppy or just outright lapse in judgment, most of us don’t pay the ultimate price for these mistakes and its easy to point the finger. Also you saying the mother did it is ignoring several parts of the case. The grand mother was there too, she came with them, she saw that this baby WAS indeed there. you also said no one could have gotten out of there cause the police sealed it off…. the fact of the matter is the mother and grandmother were searching in a panic for 25minz before a vendor called the police, remember this was 2001, not everyone had a cellphone then. that’s PLENTY of time for an abduction to occur and for the perp to vanish.


    • QUOTE ME

      I agree something is not right with this “story”. No mother in her right mind would do such a thing. i am sure she had a cell phone .
      I would investigate her
      Who took the pictures of her?


  7. Alessia

    This story never made sense to me. Who would bring a baby to a swap meet in a heavy infant seat without stroller to sit the car seat in? There is no way she was going to carry that infant seat all day long. It wasn’t practical. Why didn’t see give the baby to her mother to watch? She seemed really young and kinda slow so who knows what she was thinking…


  8. Monique

    From watching the show she had to take her toddler to the bathroom, but her mother was with her also so why wouldn’t she let her mother watch the baby while she went to the bathroom?


  9. Qiana R

    Does anyone know if Olivia submitted her DNA through genealogy DNA sites (i.e. AncestryDNA, 23andMe, etc…)? Maybe Jacqueline was told she was adopted and is trying to search for her through those sites.


  10. A Mom

    I’m glad they still show reruns of this show as a lot of these these cases are still unsolved. She would be 20 years old now. Remember she has strawberry birthmark on her upper arm. Hopefully if she is still out there she will figure out something isn’t right. You need a birth certificate in order to do certain things get a job, married etc.


  11. Chanita Jackson

    That’s very sad that the mother left the baby unattended can’t do that sugah


  12. Richard M. Jones

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what you’ve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.You’ve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?


  13. Daisy Renteria

    Some of you guys are so disgusting, you guys don’t even know what happened and already making the most terrible conclusions and what’s worse is that you act like you are 100% correct. My family knows the Castañeda family (Jacqueline’s family), they have ALL suffered so much, including the mom, she didn’t sell her daughter you sick, she didn’t preplan anything ugh I just get so mad because I know how much they have suffered.


  14. Lonely Lena

    Now we have a Jacqueline Vasquez (West) In Bakerfield Ca area with no known legal information except she and her husband left 2 babies outside in the cold to play while he gather sticks to make a fire.
    Same Jacqueline or no. Information gets changed when these babies are sold. S/he adopted these babies and changed their names. 3 and 4 year baby boys…she have not released any updated photos.
    I don’t believe in coincidences.


  15. Jenny from the Block

    For the person who asked, my name on this post has MY picture. Where’s yours? And I agree with the majority of the “evil nasty people” who have said the same thing over and over and over – WHAT MOTHER in her right mind would leave an infant OUTSIDE a porta-potty at a crowded swap-meet (of all unsavory places) filled with absolute strangers? Sorry, but no matter how THAT cookie crumbles, that is just plain idiocy, recklessness, and irresponsible behavior. And you betcha, nobody’s perfect – but I bet very few of us lambasting the negligent mom in this case would leave OUR infant child sitting outside a public toilet.


  16. Chris

    Just watched this episode and after reading all of the comments and giving it some time to sink in…. She was COMPLETELY monotone. No emotion. Nothing. Maybe it’s shock or lack of intelligence. You would think that you would be a basket case. And yeah she was a young mother but wtf. You don’t take your eyes off your kids when they are little like that for a second. That’s just a given. Not if you’re smart. I don’t feel bad for her. I feel bad for her child. And her family. All of whom have suffered because she was an idiot. She should of been at the very least charged with neglect. Hopefully that little baby was kidnapped by someone who has raised it with love and not a million other horrible things that so not need to be mentioned. This is a rare event for me to go out of me way to do this, comment on things, but holy hell. Yeah. Something is not right here. Most people are not prepared to become parents. It’s a life changing event. And most of us do our best and try not to screw up too bad. Then there’s….this woman.


    • Jeni

      I totally agree. Her face is emotionless. I would’ve peed my pants before doing what she did.


      • Mandi

        She was taking her toddler to the portapotty. SMH I am not in agreement with what she did. I am not a parent but if I were in that situation with a toddler and my grand niece I would carry my grand niece inside the potty.


  17. Gloria

    All of you COWARDS criticizing this young mother, why are you hiding behind computer screens? Show your ugly faces since y’all are sooo perfect. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Instead of simply sharing the baby’s picture or sending positive thoughts, y’all are here acting like wicked, evil witches. Shame on you! Pray that you never make a mistake. God’s watching you.


    • Liah Downs

      What kind of mother would leave a baby outside the on the bathroom floor? She should have waited to go to the bathroom at home or asked a family member to go with her ?? So irresponsible of the mom! Imagine if she does this again with her 2 year old! Dyfs should take her 2 year old away !


    • Liah Downs

      Maybe this is a set up? Maybe she only had her 2 year old and an empty car seat ? So suspicious ! This was planned by her and her husband. !! They know the baby was never at swap meet .


    • Hateirresponsiblepeople

      You do know people can condemn this mother and still share the picture right I hope she suffers every day

      No sympathy for her and no I’m not a perfect parent but I don’t leave my son by himself anywhere. He’s 10 years old and he still goes into the women’s bathroom with me


  18. Elzarie

    If she “HAD” to leave the baby outside, then why couldn’t she have held the door open enough to watch the baby while the 2 year old when potty??? Doesn’t add up?


  19. Mars

    Although she could have brought the baby into the porta potty. There is no where to put the car seat with child. Their small and not meant for more than 2 people… Her child needed assistance. So thinking that baby would be safe near the porta potty she helped her older child… Only for someone to take her baby. Most likely someone who desperately wanted a child but couldn’t have one took the baby assuming she was abandoned… Or just didn’t think to check if the mom was in the porta potty and took the baby assuming she was abandoned. Yes the mom made a mistake… A mistake she now regrets and wishes she could undoe… But she didn’t know leaving a baby alone for a few seconds was bad. Because back then we didn’t have the knowledge we have now… I pray she will find her baby soon. All grown up though. But finding her would make everything stop hurting. May she find her child soon. We have technology now to help find lost or adopted children…


    • Sheliah Hipps

      The child did not need assistance Olivia is the one that needed to go to the restroom and she knew the 2 year old could run off.


  20. Katherine F

    Creepy. This baby looks nearly identical to me when I was born. The only difference is that I’m about 13 years older


  21. Anonymous

    I agree that was stupid,she could have held the door open with her hip and put the carseat between her feet helped the two yr old. That’s what I did when my son was a baby.


  22. Hailey-Eris

    I do have to agree that she shouldn’t have left Jacqueline outside alone. However, now is not the time to scold her mother for her poor judgment. Imagine the harsh, sobering regret she must harbor every day. Adding insult to injury won’t erase the fact that this horrible crime already occurred. Bottom line? Jacqueline is still out there and needs to be found! Hopefully like cops speculate, she was taken by someone who wanted a child to raise and is being well cared for and loved


  23. Anonymous

    I’m not surprised by the amount of venomous comments re: the stupidity of the mom who left her newborn unattended. But, I have to say, I’m sure she has paid for that mistake dearly for all of these years that the baby has been missing. We all do things that we later regret, and altho’ this is a colossal mistake, and not one most of us would have decided to make, this poor woman did make that decision. She has to have regretted those few moments every day of her life. You have to feel empathy for her pain. I pray that this baby was stolen by someone who took wonderful care of her and loves her dearly to this day. It’s the least any of us can do.


  24. Lizcali.

    I had 3 kids all small and I never left my kids unattended in any place when I went to use the bathroom I put them all in the stall with me ! I had always held there hands and had them in a stroller! There is never any excuse to never have a eye on your kids I never lost one thank god ! and the carrier she had the baby in how was she going to walk around the swap meet carrying that there so heavy ! It’s easier to carry the baby like I did or take the kid out go in the porta potty with both when I first saw her with that carrier I knew it didn’t make sense you can’t carry that for very long it’s more weight then just carrying the kid


    • Judy Gonzalez

      There is no excuse to leave a baby even for one second because tragedy can happen and it did. The mother was so young and she unfortunately paid dearly for her mistake! We all make mistakes but we normally don’t take our eyes away from a baby especially in a crowded place.


  25. chanita jackson

    are u kidding me ? that was a big mistake ! u don’t never ever leave a baby out side by it,s self ! That woman had decided that her two year old daughter was more important then her new born daughter! I,m sorry but that,s the way that I feel about it ! I think it was wrong the way she did!


  26. smiffy

    why couldn’t her mum look after the baby whilst she was in the toilet?


  27. Vicky Field Whitlow

    I wish you guys would put the computer picture of what this baby might look like today. I watched this episode yesterday here in Iowa and they showed the computer photo but it was to quick. I really want to see it ,because I lived next to a family a few years ago and the computer photo kinda looked like one of the little girls that lived there but I could not be sure since it was over before I could pull up the family photos I took for them . My email is sweetpeavonhein69@Gmail.com. Thank you. And no one should judge young mothers who are doing their best with out anyone’s help unless you have been in that mothers shoes.


  28. Teri

    I do feel very sorry for the mom, but she could not have done a more irresponsible thing if she tried. You never take your eyes off of your child.


  29. Overwatch

    We are all so quick to judge. The fact of the matter is this: We ALL do what might be termed stupid things. We ALL make bad decisions at one time or another. Most of us are spared any serious consequences for our lapses in judgement. The fact that this woman was not so fortunate does not give us the right to judge her. I believe her daughter is out there somewhere. May she find her way home.


  30. Karina

    Have they found the baby yet?





    • Fascinated

      That is a disgusting comment and should be removed. Actuallly, all your comments are disgusting and illiterate.

      We all make quick decisions – most of them end up OK but this poor mother suffered for a her bad decision. Wondering where HER mother was during all this. Unfortunately, someone who steals a baby would leave very quickly and would be long gone by the time they sealed the exits.

      I’m sure the baby is still alive but the not knowing would be agonizing. Hope the mother ignores horrible comments from people like Lui Free who’s a POS.


  32. Jane doe

    Dumb mom to leave her baby. Hold your pee on and give your baby to ur mom then go pee. She gave her baby away.


  33. Maribel

    God sees everything. He knows who took the baby. God bless the family. Hopefully the mother will meet her daughter one day.


  34. tamara

    Of course we can all say it was dumb of her, but omg that poor mother! She will regret that till she dies – I feel really really sorry for her!! You just dont think that this stuff will happen to u. Hope they find her


  35. elle

    so.. wait… are those pictures authentic, and just so happened to catch everything but the baby snatcher?


  36. Jayda

    Hopefully they find her someday, and she’s okay and alive.


  37. Sky

    Very dumb to leave her baby out for anyone to take..


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