A North Carolina mother has been indicted by a grand jury for trading her two-year-old child for a used car in 2018, say authorities.
The married couple that allegedly gave her the 1992 Plymouth Laser Hatchback in exchange for the baby were also indicted in the bizarre scheme, according to the Thomasville police department.
On Wednesday, the child’s mother, Alice Leann Todd, 45, of Thomasville, along with Tina Marie Chavis, 47, and her husband, Vicenio Mendoza Romera, 53, were arrested in connection with the alleged trade, the Thomasville Police Department stated in the release.
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They are charged with the unlawful sale, surrender or purchase of a minor.
The alleged crime came to light on July 23, when Chavis took the child to the hospital because she thought the baby was suffering from a possible allergic reaction, NBC News reports.
When hospital personnel noticed bruising on the child’s body, they notified police and child protective services.
Initially, Chavis told authorities she was the child’s mother, before changing her story and saying she had adopted the toddler, according to the police department release.
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When Chavis was unable to provide any documentation as proof she was the child’s parent, authorities placed the toddler in the car of another relative.
An ensuing investigation revealed that Todd was actually the child’s mother and that she had allegedly traded her then-1-year-old for the car in 2018, police allege.
Police are still investigating. More charges may follow.
Todd, Chavis, and Romero each received a $50,000 bond and are being held at the Davidson County Jail. Their court date is set for October 21, police say. It is unclear if they have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.