A couple from Layland, West Virginia, have been arrested and charged with trying to sell their own baby for drugs, a report reveals.
Fayette County police arrested 25-year-old Ashley Nichole Harmon — the mother of the 3-month-old –and her fiancée, Jonathan Isaac Lucas Flint, 20, after being alerted to the alleged incident last week. Police have now charged the pair with gross child neglect and creating a risk of injury or death to a child.
Police say the couple went to the home of a woman and urged her to buy the baby from them for up to $1,000. She refused but they left the baby there anyway, saying they’d be back later to pick the little one up.
When the two suspects finally arrived the next day, instead of finding their baby, they discovered the child was with child protective services and the police were waiting to apprehend them.
Carolyn Redden, the homeowner with whom the child was left, told police she didn’t know the child’s mother but had known Flint since he was a youngster in the neighborhood.
The woman was most worried because the child was constantly shaking. Paramedics later told the woman the baby showed signs of drug withdraw.
Captain Jim Sizemore with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said the incident made him reflect on how lucky he and his own daughter are.
“You try very hard to separate your professional life from your personal life. 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,” Sizemore said.
According to the Register-Herald, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said, “Law enforcement officers frequently deal with some pretty strange situations. A situation like this is really out of the ordinary though.”
Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah added that it would be a shame if laws against selling children needed to be added to the books.
“My office has been working closely with the Sheriff’s Office and Child Protective Services since we first learned of this complaint, and we intend to vigorously pursue the criminal charges filed in connection with this matter,” Harrah said.
The suspects were placed in Southern Regional Jail, with bonds of $100,000 each.
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