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Archive for Saturday, July 20, 2002

Suspect accused of posing as a doctor returned to Kansas to face charges

July 20, 2002

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— A woman authorities believe posed as a pediatrician to gain access to hospital nurseries in two Kansas counties has been returned to the state after her arrest in Texas.

Ronda M. Vannover, 35, was arrested last week in Pecos, Tex., and returned Thursday to Sedgwick County to face charges of probation violations. Vannover was serving probation after convictions last year for passing bad checks and theft.

Police have said a woman believed to be Vannover identified herself as an out-of-town pediatrician earlier this month at Salina Regional Health Center's nursery. She left when hospital staff started asking questions.

Less than three hours later, a woman with a similar description entered Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph Campus in Wichita, making a similar request. She also left when questioned.

The Kansas Hospital Assn. sent out security warnings to all hospitals in the state. Surrounding states also were urged to watch for the woman.

Vannover, who prosecutors said has used at least five different names, was charged Wednesday in Saline County under the name Rhonda Mary Soto with one count of false impersonation.

The multi-agency Exploited and Missing Child Unit in Sedgwick County is also investigating the incident and planned to take its case to prosecutors on Monday, said Sgt. Jay McLaurian of the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department.

Vannover had not yet been charged Friday morning with the probation violations.

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