A couple have been charged in West Virginia after they attempted to sell their ill three-month-old child to a neighbor. After the neighbor refused to buy the child for their asking price of $500, they handed her over, claiming they would return for her.
Ashley Harmon (25) and her fiancé Jonathan Flint (20), from Layland, had initially offered the baby to neighbor Carolyn Redden for $1,000 on 28 May, before dropping the price to $500 when she refused to pay, according to WVAH.
With no deal on the table, they asked Redden to care for the child temporarily while they made a trip to the store. Abandoned with severe diaper rash and left with only spoiled milk, Redden had concerns for the girl’s wellbeing, prompting her to call emergency services when the couple did not return.
“She was shaking, clenching her fists, crying and screaming,” Redden told WVAH of the baby’s condition. “Why have a child if you’re not going to care for it? Just because it is hard doesn’t mean you give up on a child.”
The couple were arrested on June 3 and charged with the felony offenses of Selling or Attempting to Sell A Child and Gross Child Neglect Creating A Risk of Bodily Injury or Death to A Child.
Investigators told WSAZ that the couple were suffering from substance withdrawals and planned to use the money for drugs.
Police said Harmon has two other children under the age of three she also left behind in another part of the state.
The biological father of the three-month-old abandoned with Redden was unaware his daughter was being sold.
Last month an Albuquerque father attempted to sell his six-month-old in a park, according to KRQE. James Dingman told police he had been to a methadone clinic after they approached him in a park after reports he was trying to sell the child.