Woman posed as photographer, drugged a mom to steal her newborn, police say
A woman in Washington state and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested Friday afternoon after the woman allegedly posed as a baby photographer and drugged a mother in an attempt to steal her newborn.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Tacoma, Washington, said that a woman called 911 on Feb. 5, telling emergency responders that she was experiencing numbness, drowsiness, and instability on her feet and was vomiting. She said that she believed she had been drugged.
Upon receiving treatment at a local hospital, the woman filed a police report with the sheriff’s department in which she said she had accepted an offer from a woman in a Facebook baby group to take photos of her newborn for free as a way of building her portfolio.
The suspect is a 38-year-old resident of Spanaway, Washington, who allegedly carried multiple aliases, but whose name was confirmed by police Saturday as Juliette Parker.
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She allegedly visited the victim’s home three times to take photos, where she was seen taking selfies with the baby and wiping her fingerprints from items she touched.
“During the third incident, the suspect and the suspect’s teenage daughter gave the victim a cupcake to eat; the victim reported feeling numb and drowsy immediately after eating the cupcake,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “The victim told the suspect and her daughter to leave her home. After they left, the victim noticed that the suspect had stolen her house keys.”
Parker was arrested along with her teen daughter at their home in Spanaway, about 44 miles south of Seattle, police said, and she was booked Friday on attempted kidnapping and assault charges, Pierce County corrections records show.
Detectives working on the case said they conducted multiple interviews and obtained numerous search warrants, identifying additional victims before uncovering Parker’s plot “to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own.”
“When the whole thing unraveled her house keys were missing, she [the victim] remembers her wiping prints down in the kitchen,” sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer told NBC affiliate KING in Seattle. “We were able to find through search warrants and communication through social media and texts a plot we put together that obviously shows she was attempting to find an infant to take out of state and raise as her own.”
Deputies with the sheriff’s department donated money to buy the victim new locks for her doors and window guards, which they also helped her install.
Parker has also allegedly been involved in a bomb-making incident, KING reported.
And, she was a candidate last year in the Colorado Springs mayoral race, police confirmed. She came in second with 11.9 percent of the vote, according to city records.
“I want to make Colorado Springs a happy and safe and prosperous place for all of our residents,” Parker told NBC News affiliate KOAA two weeks before the April 2019 election.
Though she was arrested over 1,200 miles from the city she once hoped to lead, Parker’s past was not lost on investigators.
“It’s turning out to be a very colorful background on our suspect,” Troyer told KING.
Phil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on rural issues and the social safety net.