A West Virginia couple is facing criminal charges after attempting to sell their baby for money to buy drugs.
Ashley Nichole Harmon, 25, and her fiance, Jonathan Isaac Lucas Flint, 20, visited Carolyn Redden May 28. They tried selling her their 3-month-old baby girl for between $500 and $1,000, WSAZ reported.
According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, the couple planned on using the money to buy drugs. Redden did not buy the baby, but ended up babysitting for several hours.
Redden said the couple walked five miles to a local convenience store and did not return until the following day. She added that she had never met the mother before, but had known Flint since he was a child.
By the time the couple returned on May 29, the baby was already in the custody of child protective services. Redden had called 911 and told authorities of the situation, adding that the baby would not stop crying and shaking.
"Why have a child if you're not going to care for it?" Redden told WVAH. "Just because it is hard doesn't mean you give up on a child."
"I ran out and got diapers and more bottles for her. She was shaking, clinching her fists, crying and screaming."
An EMS worker told Redden the baby might be suffering from drug withdrawal. Captain Jim Sizemore said he has never seen anything like this in his 30-year career.
"You try very hard to separate your professional life from your personal life,” Sizemore told WSAZ. “But, when there's a child being abused, you can't help but think there but for the grace of God is my child. I have a daughter that I love more than anything on this earth, and I would gladly give my life to keep her safe.”
Harmon and Flint are now facing felony charges of Selling or Attempting to Sell A Child and Gross Child Neglect Creating A Risk of Bodily Injury or Death to A Child. They are being held at Southern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond each.
The 3-month-old has been placed in foster care. The child’s biological father was unaware of the situation.