Woman accused of posing as child protective services worker to kidnap infant

    Joanna Boyd is accused of posing as a CPS employee in an effort to kidnap a Las Vegas couple's infant child. (Photo: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

    A woman is behind bars for allegedly concocting an elaborate plan to swipe an infant. The Las Vegas Metropolitain Police Department called her “brazen” because she involved them in her scheme.

    It all started with a social media post from two parents excited about their new baby. They quickly became a target. They were looking for baby clothes. 39-year-old Joanna Boyd was allegedly looking for a baby.

    "From what she told to us originally is that she planned on keeping the baby because her children were taken from her at some point," said LVMPD Captain Nichole Splinter.

    Boyd met the couple online. They were discussing newborn items for sale on Facebook. From their connection and posts she was able to glean information about their infant and create fake documents.

    Just before 12:25 p.m. on Monday, Boyd posed as a Clark County Department of Family Services employee and called LVMPD dispatch saying she needed their help on an emergency removal of an infant.

    Officers met with Boyd in the 4300 block of N. Las Vegas Boulevard, and she provided them with paperwork, including what she said was a court order. The officers believed the paperwork looked illegitimate, however, and Boyd did not provide proper county identification.

    The officers contacted Child Protective Services, which confirmed Boyd was not an employee of the agency.

    Officers quickly determined the documents were forged. Boyd was arrested before ever arriving at the couple's home.

    Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say Boyd was talking with the parents of a 3-week-old child over Facebook about buying baby clothes. Boyd allegedly took personal information about the family from their social media to try to make her paperwork appear accurate.

    “The information that this female provided on these fraudulent documents was accurate information and the information that she got was from a Facebook account, posted openly by parents," said Captain Splinter.

    It’s a scary reminder that everything we post is out there, said Richard Guerry with IROC2, the Institute for Responsible Online and Cellphone Communication.

    “What we put out there really depends on what level of risk you’re willing to take,” Guerry said.

    Guerry added that privacy settings don’t necessarily mean it’s private. \“All we’re trying to do is limit stranger’s visibility into our windows to the world, but windows do work two ways,” he said.

    Boyd has been booked into Clark County Detention Center, and court records indicate she faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, forgery, impersonating a public officer and possession of stolen vehicle.

    She’s no stranger to the law either. She has a rap sheet spanning several states for felonies and misdemeanors, including child cruelty.

    Anyone who might have come into contact with Boyd is asked to contact Las Vegas Metropolitan Police at (702) 828-7355 or Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

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