Washington State Woman, Teen Girl Accused Of Posing As Baby Photographers, Drugging Mom To Steal Baby
A Washington (state) woman was arrested this week for allegedly posing as a photographer in order to gain entry into a victim’s home, drug her, and steal her baby to raise as her own, The Seattle Times reports. The woman’s 16-year-old daughter, an alleged accomplice, was also arrested.
The victim said that she made contact with the suspect via a Facebook group for new moms, where a woman was posing as a photographer of newborn babies and was offering free photo shoots in order to “build her portfolio.” The mom agreed, and the woman and her teen daughter were soon at her home, snapping pictures.
Immediately the mother noticed things that, in retrospect, didn’t look right. The suspect took selfies with the baby, for example, or fastidiously wiped down anything she touched in the home with wipes, presumably to wipe off her fingerprints.
During the third visit, the victim alleges, the woman’s teenage daughter gave the new mom a cupcake. Not long after eating it, the new mom said that she began feeling drowsy and numb, and asked her visitors to leave, which they did. However, the victim later noticed that the keys to her house were missing.
She called the police and said that she feared she might have been drugged.
Have you been contacted online by this woman to take photos of your baby? If so, our detectives want to talk to you. Today we arrested her for posing online as a newborn photographer & reportedly drugging a woman in an attempt to steal her baby. Details: https://t.co/oMBScoXwz2 pic.twitter.com/HRgXvTMgMu
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) February 15, 2020
It was then that police began to believe that a kidnapping attempt may have been afoot. Authorities helped the new mom install new locks on her doors and bars on her windows, and sent a patrol car to wait in front of her house.
Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office tells Seattle’s KCPQ-TV that the “photographer” was trying to “groom” a mother from whom she could steal a baby and take out of state.
“What she was doing was trying to groom somebody to find an infant she wanted and we believe what she was going to do was take the infant and leave the state and go raise her as her own,” Troyer said.
Police later arrested the suspect and the teen girl in the nearby town of Spanaway.
Authorities are not revealing the suspect’s name, as of this writing, nor are they revealing how they were able to identify and locate her. Indeed, they would only say, via a statement, that detectives “worked tirelessly” on the case and were able to identify an unknown number of additional victims.
Meanwhile, authorities are still asking for other people who have made contact with the woman, who appears to be using multiple aliases, to come forward.