On May 26, 2014, 21-year old Valérie Poulin-Collins dressed as a nurse and entered the Trois-Rivières hospital in Quebec where she proceeded to abduct a day-old baby girl called Victoria Boisclair. She actually tricked the parents into handing her their infant and was subsequently arrested three-and-a-half hours after the incident and put on a ventilator in the same hospital for 48 hours before being well enough to appear in court.
During her first court appearance, Valérie appeared very fragile and pale as a ghost. After her lawyer realized that she could not carry any type of conversation, the Judge ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she could understand the charges brought against her that included kidnapping a person under 14 and confining a person under 16.
The father of the child, Simon Boisclair, showed up at the hearing but has not made any statements to the press since the incident.
A week later, a psychiatrist reported she was capable of understanding the charges and she was transferred to a women’s prison where the judge specified she should be visited by a mental health professional focusing on suicide-prevention.
She will appear in court on June 18 for a bail hearing. It was not her first arrest and she is also due in court on June 30 and July 4 to face minor charges of drug possession and theft.
If convicted, she could face five years to life in prison.
The police was quick to call an Amber alert and to distribute a photo taken by hospital security of Valérie dressed as a member of the staff to the media. Four young people decided to play detectives after seeing the photo and recognizing their former neighbour. They drove to her place and notified the authorities right away after spotting her car.
According to the newspaper La Presse, one of Valérie’s friends, Jolaine Licata, saw her on Monday with a baby and they had gone shopping for diapers and baby articles. She told her that she adopted the infant from a teenage couple and that she had wanted to adopt for years. She apparently could not conceive.
In reality, Valérie was a very troubled soul who lived on her own in a tiny second floor apartment with her dogs. Recently, she had furnished the place with a crib, high chair, pen, walker, swing, car seat, and baby clothing. It actually had all the elements of premeditation. She was actually planning the arrival of her baby. Her family and some friends confirmed that she was obsessed with having a child.
The police arrested her on the premises where she had brought the infant and renamed her Kaïli.
According to Valérie’s aunt, Guylaine Drouin, who was her confidant ‘’Valérie was suffering from mental-health issues.’’ She was sick and consulted a psychiatrist on a regular basis. She also attempted suicide several times. She tried to kill herself by jumping in the St. Lawrence River but was saved by a kite surfer. After trying other methods, she would be admitted to hospital, given medication and released. As if her case was not taken seriously.
She would be back in her apartment alone with her dark suicidal thoughts. As a student at the Trois-Rivières College, a member of the staff questioned the fact that doctors would keep releasing her when she was in crisis and constantly on the verge of suicide.
Even if she was a dedicated student, her depression led her to drop out and start working in a convenience store where she was described as sweet and withdrawn. Her boyfriend left her and her best friend also grew tired of her depressing and dark nature. Who could blame them for walking away? Her family and friends did their best but she needed professional help.
To make matters worse, Valérie had a tumor at the base of the brain pressing on her hypothalamus gland. She had to take medication that made her face and body swell. The anorexic girl that appeared on her Facebook page was now replaced by a puffy girl with empty eyes.
She found out on May 24th, that the tumor was benign and operable. It was supposed to be good news but also another ordeal for this lost girl.
This winter, she had an accident when her car slid on a patch of ice. She broke her ankle and ended up with back pain, a broken spirit, and hopeless with a huge gap to fill in her life. The medical system filled that gap with addictive and mood altering meds.
She became obsessed with having a child to fill that huge hole in her heart. She tried to hang on to life by welcoming a new one.
Friends of Valérie rallied to defend her and to explain how this troubled girl had fought demons recently, including the death of a dear friend and suicide attempts.
Considering that before her arrest, Valérie took large amounts of medication, was unconscious and had to be intubated before being able to appear in court, you would think that it would have been the red flag to let her remain in the hospital instead of remanding her to jail with ‘visits’ from a psychiatrist.
Police and some of the neighbors saw that Valérie’s red Toyota had a ‘’baby on board’ sign. Not really an indication of a culprit trying to hide her crime.
She used to babysit a neighbor’s child but the mother of the baby stopped hiring her because she perceived her attention as unhealthy.
This poor girl who had a hard time taking care of herself thought her redemption was to take care of a baby that might allow her to be reborn.
To declare her fit to be tried makes me wonder if the psychiatrist and the judge are the ones fit to be tied.
It had to be hell on earth for little Victoria’s parents and I am glad they recovered their child in a matter of hours and well taken care of. I hope they will find it in their heart to forgive the girl who caused them so much pain and anguish.
But the system failed Valérie over and over again and now she is sitting in jail. It is also criminal if you ask me.
Valérie pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to two years less a day in prison. I truly hope she will get the help and mental health treatment she needs.
Valérie was conditionally released in February 2015, and sent to la Maison Carignan for 6 months to treat her dependency and personality disorder, but she escaped into the woods and was sent back to prison. She was released again in February 2016, and sent to le Pavillon de l’Assuétude in Shawinigan for a 3 month treatment. She went to a halfway house in June and is now free but on tight probation. She cannot be in the presence of children under 10, and has to remain more than 100 meters away from a daycare, park or school where she could encounter young children.