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Headlines from the past: Baby missing in Coquitlam

A tragic story about a baby gone missing was reported the week of June 6, 1990. In a re-occurring Flashback Friday feature, the Tri-City News will recount stories from the publication over previous decades.
Coquitlam RCMP re-enact the disappearance of a baby from a car at Coquitlam Centre in May, 1990 in the hopes of generating some leads. | Jeff Vinnick for Tri-City News via Coquitlam Archives

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past will be a reoccurring feature as the publication approaches its 40th anniversary in 2024.

One of the saddest stories published by the Tri-City News was the tale of a baby who was reportedly snatched, along with her car seat, from a vehicle outside Coquitlam Centre.

The disappearance occurred May 30, 1990, prompting Coquitlam RCMP to hold a re-enactment of the scene in the hopes that someone remembered the incident.

A radio station offered a $10,000 reward if the baby was found, according to the Tri-City News, and the family of two-month-old infant also put up a reward for the safe return of their daughter.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers also joined in the search for the baby in the area surrounding the shopping centre but turned up nothing, according to the Tri-City News.

According to reports in June 1990, the parents went into the mall for 30 minutes. They took an older daughter with them, but left Harpeet behind because she was sleeping.

When they returned to their 1979 Chrysler Cordoba the infant and her car seat were gone.

The baby reportedly weighed eight pounds and was wearing a lace-trimmed pink dress at the time of her disappearance.

RCMP at the time were looking for a "Tom Selleck look-alike" who boarded a New Westminster-bound BC Transit bus at approximately the same time the baby disappeared, but the child was dressed differently and the man wasn’t carrying a car seat.

Mounties didn’t regard the man as a suspect, but wanted to talk to him to eliminate him as one.

Nearly two weeks after the baby reportedly disappeared, in an article published June 13, 1990, the Tri-City News reported that there were still no leads in the case.

Among the files of the Tri-City News is coverage of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody councils, local crime, local festivals and events similar to today's stories you'll find online and in print on Thursdays.

For a digital version of this week's paper, visit the Issuu website.