Florida Couple Kidnap Relative’s 7-Month-Old Baby Girl

A Florida couple arrested in eastern Washington is facing kidnapping, burglary, and assault charges after driving to Federal Way in an elaborate plan to abduct a cousin’s 7-month-old daughter.

Around 9:30 a.m. on February 20, Chun Ho Vincent Lai, 42, allegedly posing as an Amazon delivery man holding a box, knocked on the mother’s Federal Way apartment door, prosecutors say. The woman, who was expecting a delivery, opened the door after looking through the peephole and was punched multiple times in the face and knocked to the ground, according to charging papers.

Marrly Ardila-Urrego, 33, who King County prosecutors say is cousins with the mother, allegedly entered the apartment as well and did not talk. The mother was zip-tied around her wrists and ankles, and her 2-year-old child’s mouth was taped shut, according to prosecutors.

Lai placed the 7-month-old inside the Amazon box, pushed the mother into the bedroom, and “gestured as if he were going to stab (the 2-year-old) if (the mother) did not cooperate,” charging documents say.

The Federal Way mother’s husband was not home, something Lai and Ardila-Urrego attempted to make sure of before the kidnapping. The couple from Lake Worth Beach, Florida, stole the woman’s cellphone, prosecutors say.

Charging papers say the woman was able to loosen and remove the zip ties from her ankles and ran outside to look for her baby girl.

The kidnapped child’s grandfather, and Ardila-Urrego’s uncle, told investigators he suspected his niece was involved, according to documents. He said Ardila-Urrego had been persistent in asking for the woman’s address, which was “unusual as Marlly does not often keep in contact with the family,” prosecutors say.

While speaking to detectives, the man said Ardila-Urrego told him about a year ago that she was going to be a surrogate to give birth to a child for $70,000, charging documents say. The man added he did not think she went through with the plan, prosecutors say.

No clear motive is referenced in the charging documents, and prosecutors say there is no evidence that “mental illness or substance abuse contributed to this crime.” It appeared “the victims were targeted because they were known to the defendants and known to have children,” prosecutors say.