A woman accused of setting off a massive manhunt Tuesday appeared in court Thursday in Anchorage.
30-year-old Monica Vasquez is charged with criminal non-support.
Authorities say she triggered an Amber Alert by leaving the Alaska Native Medical Center with her newborn son against the hospital staff's wishes.
They had concerns about the 2-day-old child's safety and were attempting to call the Office of Children’s Services.
Vasquez's lawyer says his client left the hospital alone after giving her son Max to the boy’s father, Taimato Galo Jr. A hospital worker also told police Vasquez became combative when they asked to test the baby's urine for drugs.
OCS Child Welfare Administrator Kim Guay would not comment on this case specifically, but added this particular scenario is not unusual.
"It could be that they have a long drug history, it could be that they're experiencing stress for whatever reason and have just gone the wrong direction."
Alaska has a mandatory reporting law, meaning teachers, doctors and police are required to alert the Office of Children's Services if they see any evidence that a child is being harmed.
"Around 90% percent of the reports we receive from the community are closed, so around 10% of the cases we are working with on are more of an ongoing basis,” said Guay. “That doesn't mean that 10% of the children are out of the home, they could still be in the home."
Anchorage police say they are still comparing witness statements to determine exactly what happened in the moments leading up to Vasquez leaving the hospital and the Amber Alert that followed.
Galo, the baby’s father, is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
Contact Adam Pinsker