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DES MOINES, Iowa – Police investigators and MercyOne hospital in Des Moines are trying to figure out how a man entered into the hospital to feed a baby that was not his last month.

The incident happened on December 28, 2021 when the man slipped past a nurse and entered into a secure area in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to the Des Moines Police Department.

Police say once inside the NICU, he misrepresented himself as an infant’s father and then bottle-fed the baby before leaving. The baby was not harmed.

Image taken from security video of man who snuck into MercyOne hospital in Des Moines on December 28, 2021 and fed baby in NICU. (Courtesy: Des Moines Police Department)

Surveillance video captured the man in the act. Police have released a photo of him in an effort to help them learn his identity.

In a statement provided to Channel 13, MercyOne called the incident “extremely troubling” and said it takes the safety and security of its patients and families seriously. The hospital says it has since changed its policies and expanded security to keep this from happening in the future.

Read the statement from MercyOne below:

“MercyOne takes the safety and security of our patients and families very seriously. The incident that took place last month is extremely troubling. We are actively cooperating with the Des Moines Police Department on this ongoing investigation and have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which prompted several changes to our policies and protocols to expand our security and prevent this from occurring in the future.

These updates include:

–        Re-education of NICU and security colleagues on all safety and security procedures and protocols.

–        Increasing identification checks and visitor log sign-in at entrances to the hospital.

–        Enhanced security protocols and increased staffing at the NICU and baby nurseries.

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center continues to focus on providing safe and compassionate care and living out the ministry set forth by the Sisters of Mercy more than 130 years ago.”