Florida mom accused of trying to sell daughter to store employee for $500

PALATKA, Fla. – A Florida woman was arrested last week after allegedly trying to sell her daughter outside of a local business, according to the Palatka Police Department.

In a release on Wednesday, police said that the woman — Jessica Woods, 33 — had been loitering around the business with her 18-month-old daughter on March 5.

“Woods had been observed around the business with her daughter for a few days,” the release says. “An anonymous citizen made contact with Woods and asked if she and the child needed any assistance.”

Image of Jessica Christine Woods shared by the Palatka Police Department (Palatka Police Department)

The “anonymous citizen” was an employee of the business who knew woods because she came through the area regularly, police explained.

However, Woods told the employee that she didn’t need anything but instead offered to sell her daughter to the employee for $500, investigators stated.

The employee refused, causing Woods to walk away — leaving her child behind, the release shows.

As a result, the employee picked the child up and brought her to the police department, telling officers about what happened, according to police.

In response, the child was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families, and she has since been placed into foster care, detectives said.

Woods was ultimately arrested on March 7, and she faces charges of unlawfully deserting her child, trying to sell a child for money, aggravated child abuse, and three counts of child abuse without great bodily harm.

For those charges, she is held on bond of $255,000.

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