A newborn is stolen from a swap meet.

A baby photo of Jacqueline Castaneda.

Jacqueline Castaneda

Missing:

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

CASE DETAILS

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.

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45 Comments

  1. 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?

    Reply

  2. 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.

    Reply

  3. 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.

    Reply

  4. Chanita Jackson

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

    Reply

  5. 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?

    Reply

  6. 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.

    Reply

  7. 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.

    Reply

  8. 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.

    Reply

  9. 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.

    Reply

  10. 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.

    Reply

    • 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 !

      Reply

    • 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 .

      Reply

    • 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

      Reply

  11. 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?

    Reply

  12. 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…

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  13. 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

    Reply

  14. 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.

    Reply

  15. 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

    Reply

  16. 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.

    Reply

  17. 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

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  18. 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!

    Reply

  19. smiffy

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

    Reply

  20. 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.

    Reply

  21. 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.

    Reply

  22. 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.

    Reply

  23. Karina

    Have they found the baby yet?

    Reply

  24. LUI FREEH

    SHE TOOK THE TWO YEAR OLD INSIDE SO SHE WOULDNlT SEE WHO CAME TO GET WHAT THEY “PAID FOR”! SWAP MEET THAT’S CROWDED “NICE EXCUSE”! ( BUT THAT’S ALL IT IS ) REPRESSED MEMORIES OF HER TWO YEAR OLD SEEING THE MAN OR WOMAN WHO HER MOTHER SOLD HER SMALLER SIBLING TO.

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  25. 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.

    Reply

  26. Maribel

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

    Reply

  27. 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

    Reply

  28. elle

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

    Reply

  29. Jayda

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

    Reply

  30. Sky

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

    Reply

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