Skip to main content

Woman accused of snatching baby from fake casting call

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
Michelle Marie Gopaul is accused of posing as a casting director and snatching a 1-month-old baby.
Michelle Marie Gopaul is accused of posing as a casting director and snatching a 1-month-old baby.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Lawyer: "There is no evidence that she did anything wrong"
  • Michelle Marie Gopaul is accused of taking a one-month-old girl, police say
  • She allegedly advertised for a newborn to be in a Bollywood-style movie
  • Her next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday

See local coverage from CNN affiliate WABC

(CNN) -- An aspiring actress remained in jail in Canada on Friday, accused of faking a casting call for babies in an elaborate effort to snatch an infant.

The suspect, identified as Michelle Marie Gopaul, is facing charges of abduction of a minor, Toronto police said in a statement.

"The accused abducted a 1-month-old girl from a casting audition," the statement said. "With the assistance of the public, police located the child."

Gopaul, a 24-year-old aspiring actress from New York, allegedly snatched the child on December 30, police said.

After moving to Canada, she allegedly placed an advertisement on Craigslist offering $15,000 for a newborn to act in a Bollywood-style film, CNN affiliate WABC reported.

She posed as a casting director and waited in a Toronto building for parents to arrive, the affiliate said.

Gopaul then allegedly abducted the young girl at the casting call after the girl's parents allowed her to take the child into another room. She fled with the child in a taxi but the girl was found unharmed hours later, WABC said.

Gopaul's lawyer, Gary Batasar, said his client is supposed to be presumed innocent because the issue has not been decided in a courtroom.

"There is no evidence at this point that she did anything wrong," Batasar said.

Gopaul's next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lawyers.com Lexis Nexis Logo

Law firm search