Published January 13, 2015
A couple was charged Friday with trying to sell their 2-month-old baby for $30 in a store parking lot, authorities said.
Robert G. Ellingson, 23, approached two people in the PetSmart parking lot and offered them a beer. When they refused, he offered to sell his child, Escambia County Sheriff's officials said.
"At first they thought it was a joke," sheriff's spokesman Glenn Austin told the Pensacola News Journal. "But then the mother yelled to the group that they were trying to sell the baby. And one of them called us."
Ellingson and Maghen Duvala, 25, the baby's mother, were each charged with four counts of child neglect. They were being held in Escambia County jail — he for $27,000 and she for $15,000. It was not immediately known if they had legal representation. They were expected to make a first appearance Saturday.
The Department of Children & Families took custody of the baby, whose name was not released.
Authorities said the couple also tried to sell their baby in a bank parking lot a few blocks away an hour earlier. They are each charged separately for that incident by Pensacola police with one count of child neglect.