Florida Women Tried To Sell Her Baby For $500; Later Arrested

(LibertySociety.com) – A 33-year-old Florida woman was arrested and charged with six felonies after abandoning her 18-month-old child in the parking lot of an H&R Block. Jessica Woods was loitering outside the business for days before March 4 when she decided to approach an employee named Anita Fergus. The child was wearing a heavily soiled diaper, but it was the only one that Woods had in her possession. Fergus tried to help Woods put the diaper back on the child. She said that Woods hit the child in the face with her elbow after becoming frustrated because the tabs on the diaper would not stick because they were so old. Woods then took the child to the bathroom.

Fergus said that she could hear Woods hitting the child while in the bathroom before she left the business. The following morning, Fergus observed Woods sleeping on an air conditioner unit. The child was sleeping without a blanket inside of a shopping cart. Woods asked Fergus if she could buy some necessities for the child, but then asked if she would buy the child for $500. Fergus told her that she would not buy the child, so Woods walked away, abandoning the child. Fergus called Palatka police to report the matter.

A victim advocate at the police department took care of the child until the Department of Children and Families arrived. The agency took custody of the child and was able to quickly find placement in foster care. Woods was arrested on March 7 at a residence in Palatka. She was charged with six felonies, one of which was attempting to sell a minor for money and child abandonment. The other charges include child abuse, aggravated child abuse, and child neglect. She is being held on a $255,000 bond in the Putnam County Jail. She was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, according to USA Today. It is also unclear if Woods has retained an attorney.

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