State agents in Florida have launched an investigation after discovering a Craigslist advert offering to sell a newborn baby for $500.
The advert appeared on the popular buy-and-sell website on Friday, November 22, and officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) started investigating soon after, in an attempt to figure out whether the post is a strange prank or a legitimate offer.
It’s unclear who created the ad, though the poster claimed to work for ‘the department of children and families.’ Presumably their interest in children ends when they leave the office.
The advert, titled ‘Selling a baby – $500’, read:
Baby is 2 weeks old. It sleeps, don’t make noise at night. Formula and clothes will give it to you. Can give you the baby 4 year old sister for free.
I live in a quiet influential neighborhood. I work for department of children and families. I don’t want to be judged for not wanting these kids.
FDLE agents interviewed one woman who they suspected may have been responsible for the post but she denied any involvement. Investigators are now waiting for computer records which they hope will help them identify the poster.
The advertisement is as follows:
A FDLE spokeswoman, Gretl Plessinger, declined to give specifics about the case but she told the Miami Herald they have ‘an active investigation that started last Friday’.
Though attempting to sell a baby online is obviously bad practise, it’s unclear what, if any, Florida law may have been broken by posting an online ad which advertises the sale of a child.
Several years ago, a Florida mother was arrested for attempting to sell her her eight-month-old son to a Monroe County man.
She was charged with a felony charge of an adoption violation, which prohibits ‘to sell or surrender, or to arrange for the sale or surrender of, a minor to another person for money or anything of value.’
As a result of her charge, Bosque was convicted and served 180 days in jail. She also lost custody of her children.
Though the Craigslist ad may turn out to be a hoax, it’s apparently not the first time someone has advertised a child on the site.
In 2017, a Tennessee man and woman were arrested after police said they tried to sell their five-month-old son on Craigslist. Police conducted an undercover sting and charged the pair with aggravated child abuse, child neglect and endangerment.
If the recent Craigslist post is found to be real, the poster may face similar consequences. The current investigation is on going.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.