Mother's plea for stolen infant

By Selma Milovanovic

August 9, 2004


Anita Ciancio is comforted by her father, Nick Ciancio, as she appeals yesterday for the return of her kidnapped three-week-old daughter, Montana.
Picture:Joe Armao

A distraught mother yesterday pleaded for her three-week-old daughter's safe return after kidnappers snatched the baby in what appears to be a calculated, random and violent abduction.

Police have ruled out any underworld connection with the abduction, even though the child, Montana Barbaro, is a relative of a criminal who was murdered as part of Melbourne's gangland war.

Montana's mother, 27-year-old Anita Ciancio, who suffered an injured jaw in the attack, was close to collapse as she pleaded for the safe return of her newborn daughter, who was snatched at a Deer Park shopping centre on Saturday afternoon.

"Please look after her. She's only three weeks old," Ms Ciancio said. "She's a very precious baby. She's just very quiet. She just needs to be looked after and kept warm and safe.

"And please, please just take her somewhere safe and call the police. Just bring my baby back."

A friend had to carry a sobbing Ms Ciancio away after the news conference outside Sunshine police station yesterday.

Montana had just been strapped into her car seat in the Brimbank shopping centre's underground car park, when a man aged in his 30s punched Ms Ciancio in the jaw and sprayed her with what may have been capsicum spray. His female accomplice, also aged in her 30s, then grabbed the baby before the couple drove away with the child in a dark-coloured sedan.

Police yesterday released a security video of a couple they want to speak to about Montana's disappearance. The man is described as being 170 centimetres tall, of medium build, with a fair complexion and brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans with a checked shirt and white runners.

The woman is about 165 centimetres tall with a solid build, a fair complexion and short red-blonde hair. She was wearing a black roll-neck windcheater, black track pants and white runners.

Detective Inspector Tony Cecchin said Montana's abduction was not linked to the underworld, even though her father, Joe Barbaro, is the cousin of criminal Pasquale Barbaro, who was shot dead with gangland heavyweight Jason Moran at a children's football clinic in Essendon in June last year.

"There is absolutely no link . . . to the recent spate of underworld murders," Inspector Cecchin said. "The important thing here is Montana herself and her safe return. She is vulnerable and of a very young age and we believe it's essential we get her back as quickly as possible."

He said the kidnappers had not contacted police. Police were following a number of leads last night, with one possibility being that the woman who snatched Montana had recently given birth but lost her baby.


A security video image of the two people police would like to speak to about the baby's disappearance.

Hospitals around Melbourne were on alert last night.

Ms Ciancio said she had not seen the pair before Saturday, but in retrospect thought they may have been following her as she pushed Montana's pram around the shopping centre.

The Taylors Hill mother said she could not understand why her baby had been stolen.

"I can't make sense of anything. She's just a beautiful little baby and maybe someone just wanted her," she said.

Mr Barbaro was not present at the news conference but had earlier made a similar plea.

"Just bring her back safely, unharmed," Mr Barbaro said. "Just leave her in a hospital, in a safe place, a police station, anywhere where she can be safe. We just want her back."

He and Ms Ciancio have another daughter, Sienna, who is 19 months old.

Ms Ciancio, who had been breastfeeding Montana, was worried she might not have been fed since she was abducted.

"She hasn't had a bottle before, she hardly takes a dummy and she was having moments where she was quite unsettled through the night," she said. "I'm just concerned... I just ask for patience because she's only a baby and please don't hurt her."

Ms Ciancio said the trip to Brimbank Central on Saturday was her first major outing with Montana. She said a man and a woman, whom she had seen a couple of times in the shopping centre that day, appeared to follow her down a ramp to the underground car park about 5.30pm.

"I got to my car and put Montana in the car seat, closed the door, went to the boot of my car to put the shopping in," Ms Ciancio said.

"They came over, the man attacked me and dragged me to the floor and insulted me and I just noticed the woman running off with my daughter and taking her in the car and they just took off."

- with AAP

Anyone with information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.



NOTE: Every day thousands of children are abducted from fathers and society thinks this is normal. If a father cannot see his child again he is treated as a criminal and child abuse while the real criminal and child abuser generally reaps the rewards of what the divorce industry calls a "mid life retirement plan" which generally ends a man's destruction and a woman's rapid rise in economic standards.

Fathers are totally destroyed by vindictive mentally ill violent women who are coached by feminazi organizations such as "women's shelters" and feminist institutions known in the divorce industry as "One Stop  Divorce Shops".

Typically dad returns home to a note "I'm in a safe place" and next thing dad knows is he is in jail on fabricated charges of wife assault and or child sexual abuse and or harassment.

Typically every feminist organization has a large 3 ring binder full of sample affidavits that suggest how custody can be won with time proven successful lies on how to gain custody and deny access generally permanently.