Sunday, June 1, 2008
A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.
The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.
It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.
The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.
A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.
Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.