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Woman Arrested After Trying to Sell 2-Year-old Daughter

July 16, 1994

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A woman who needed money to bail out her jailed boyfriend was arrested after trying to sell her 2-year-old daughter to a child-care worker, police said Friday.

Debra Kay Powell, 23, was taken into custody outside Karen’s Korner Child Care Center on Thursday night after police gave the day-care center owner $10,000 to buy the child.

″To think that anybody could sell their child is beyond my comprehension,″ said Karen Grayam, who says she notified police after Powell offered to sell her the child.

Powell’s boyfriend was being held on $10,000 bond for violating probation on a burglary charge, said police Lt. Ray Barker. He did not identify the boyfriend, who is not the child’s father.

″Her primary concern was the boyfriend in jail, not the child,″ Barker said. ″The child was wailing and wailing because her mother was leaving her.″

Grayam had been watching the toddler for a few weeks when her mother first offered to give her up, the day-care worker said. At first, Grayam said, Powell wanted to arrange an adoption but then changed her mind.

According to Grayam, Powell said she had spent so much money on the child that she needed to raise cash.

Grayam says she asked Powell if she knew selling children is illegal.

″She said ’Yes, I do. I know it’s a felony ... but if you give me cash, nobody will know,‴ Grayam said.

The little girl, who is now staying with Powell’s parents, showed no signs of abuse, Grayam said. Powell was being held Friday on $5,000 bond.

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