U.S. Attorney: “No truth” to stolen baby claim at former Homer G. Phillips hospital

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-The U.S. attorney for Eastern Missouri has found no truth in an alleged baby theft from the former Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis. The investigation determined that the daughter of Zella Price Jackson was not born at Homer G. Phillips, but actually born three months prematurely at City Hospital No. 1.

Jackson Price and her attorney, Al Watkins are thankful for the federal investigation, but say medical records released to them are ambiguous.  Watkins said “The only hospital records that link her to City One are records that were created 12 days after her discharge; they were final diagnosis forms.”  He described the other records as generic medical forms used at both Homer G. Phillips and City Number One Hospitals.  Watkins says their investigation into what happened fifty years ago will continue.

In April, Zella Jackson Price reunited with her daughter, Melanie Diane Gilmore. Jackson Price said she gave birth at the now closed Homer G. Phillips Hospital and that staff told her that her daughter died after birth, 50 years ago.  In fact, the baby, Melanie Diane Jackson, now Gilmore, was alive.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said Friday that records show that Jackson Price arrived at City Hospital No. 1 on November 20, 1965 with pregnancy complications. She gave birth on November 25, 1965, three months prematurely.  She was discharged on November 29, 1965.

Records show that Melanie Diane Jackson was deemed healthy enough to be discharged in April 1966 and placed with a foster family in July of that year.

The investigation focused on the birth of Melanie Diane Jackson and the allegation that she was stolen from her mother.

“We can now say with complete confidence that there is absolutely no truth to that allegation,” Callahan said in a news conference. “Therefore, our investigation is closed.”

Price's allegations led to many other women seeking medical records to confirm if their babies really died. No other cases were investigated because the Jackson Price case was the only reported case where the mother was told that the infant had died and it turned out the child has lived.