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'Best feeling of our lives': Facebook sleuths tell of tracking down abducted baby Victoria

May 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM ET

Four strangers who used Facebook to help rescue a kidnapped newborn girl told NBC News on Thursday that the girl's safe return was "the best feeling of our lives."

The group took to the streets of Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada after police issued an alert that a woman had disguised herself as a nurse, walked into a hospital maternity ward and made off with one-day–old Victoria McMahon.

They took to the streets after the girl's desperate father posted a description of the suspect's car on Facebook.

Baby kidnapped from hospital found via Facebook

When a surveillance video picture of the suspect was issued, one of the four recognized it as a former school classmate and neighbor. They went to the 21-year-old's house and called police, leading officers to rescue the baby just over three hours after she was taken.

"It was the best feeling in our lives when the baby came in the arms of the police. It was amazing," one of the girls, Melizanne Bergeron, told NBC News.

"It was a very magic moment for us," her sister Sharelle, who was also in the group, added.

The group were sitting at home Monday when Facebook appeals from police and the baby's family spurred them into action, prompting them to head out in search of the suspect’s car.

"We were shocked because it was at our city. In our city, nothing happens of real importance," said Charlene Plante. "We are very adventurous. We love adventure so we decided to go find the baby."

The exact moment when an officer entered the building and removed the missing infant was recorded by the group on cellphone video and posted to Facebook by Melizanne Bergeron. The infant's entire ordeal lasted just over three hours.

They told NBC News that the door to the apartment was ajar when they arrived and they could hear a dog barking and a shower running from inside.

"[The police officers] kicked the door off and just said, 'Put your hands up, do nothing and give me the baby,'" Plante said. "We are very proud of us to act. And very happy to make the family complete because it’s a very good moment for them to have their baby."

In an emotional post on the site Tuesday, the baby's mother Melissa McMahon expressed her gratitude to the authorities and everyone who had helped find her daughter, who she said was "aptly named for this victory."

"Four wonderful people, who we had the chance to meet, identified the woman through Facebook,” she wrote in French. “This is the reason why Victoria is in my arms right now."

She added that every click and share on Facebook had "made the difference."

Boisclair posted a picture of himself with the reunited mother and baby.

"You have to give credit to these young people,” Quebec state premier Philippe Couillard said, according to the Globe and Mail. "They showed a lot of initiative."

- Pete Breen, Alastair Jamieson and Alexander Smith
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