EL SALVADOR — A Texas couple left the hospital convinced they’d been given the wrong baby—and as it turns out, they were right. Mercedes Casanellas and her husband, Richard Cushworth, are both missionaries from Texas who were working in Latin America.
In May, while the couple was in El Salvador, Casanellas says she gave birth to a baby boy at a private hospital.
Before the couple returned to their Dallas, Texas home, Casanellas says she felt something wasn’t right.
She says the baby she was handed at the hospital looked different from the one she held in the delivery room.
Finally, after three months, the couple decided to take a DNA test that showed there was zero-percent probability that the boy was their son, according to the Daily Mail.
“I have a beautiful baby at home. It’s not mine and maybe there’s another mother suffering the same as I am and perhaps I have her baby,” Casanellas told reporters in El Salvador.
Casanellas and Cushworth then returned to El Salvador and had DNA tests performed on all baby boys born in the hospital the same day as their son.
“I love my baby, he is my baby, I am even breastfeeding him right now,” Casanellas said of the baby they have been taking care of. “If they can’t find his mother, he already has parents, us. We are taking care of him and, even though we know he isn’t our biological son, we still love him”
Last week, the couple’s doctor was arrested. El Salvador’s attorney general ordered a criminal investigation into the case.
Casanellas and her husband believe the doctor is part of a child trafficking ring.
“I just want him to give me my baby back. I want to know that my child hasn’t been trafficked or any other crime committed against him,” she said. “I need my baby, I’m just asking for my baby.”
Late Monday, El Salvador’s attorney general announced that the couple’s real son had been located.
Both children were reportedly reunited with their biological parents, but all of the parents involved have since been placed under a gag order.
Cushworth’s father, David Cushworth, told the Daily Mail that their family is thrilled to have their child back, but that their thoughts are with the other family, who did not know they were raising the wrong child.
“I feel for the other family. We know nothing about them, except that they only just found out today that their baby isn’t really theirs. It must have been devastating,” David Cushworth said. “At least we suspected there was something wrong. It seems like they had no idea. Or if they suspected something, they didn’t want to say.”
The couple’s doctor has since been released from jail, but according to the Daily Mail, he is still being investigated.
“All the circumstantial evidence pointed to a criminal act, but the official story we are being told appears to show it was a mistake, a mix-up,” David Cushworth told the Daily Mail.