In a story that's straight outta Glee, the wife of Jose Tabata, outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, faked a pregnancy, then stole a baby to cover it up.
Amalia Tabata-Pereira was charged with kidnapping, interfering with custody, and impersonating a public officer in a Florida court last week after telling a young couple they must surrender their baby to her as she posed as an immigration official.
There's more strangeness in this tale, as Tabata and Pereira met in a Florida club when he was 18 and she was 40, and married two years later. Pereira told him she was pregnant in an attempt to please the player, who is currently in the majors playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Eight months later Pereira called Tabata, who was on the road with his minor league team, to tell him she had delivered a baby girl, Nicole. She took photos from the waist down of the delivery and sent them to Tabata as well. Two months after she told Tabata about "their" baby, she approached a young girl outside a health clinic, pretended to be an immigration official, and demanded the young lady hand over her 2-month-old.
The young mother refused without speaking with the baby's father, so Pereira drove out to the farm where the baby's father worked and gave him the same story. The scared, young couple handed over the baby. Luckily, they also phoned the police six hours later and an Amber alert was issued.
While the search for the baby was on, Pereira took the baby to meet Tabata, where he spent the night with his wife and his new baby. I'm wondering what happened in those few hours, because Pereira turned herself in the next day and returned the baby, and Tabata went to the press to make a statement of how hurt he was by his wife's deception.
Tabata is filing for a divorce and Pereira has been in jail ever since March 23, when she made the call.
Image via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette