DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

Mom Charged With Swapping Baby For Auto

Cops: North Carolinan sold child for Plymouth

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Car Child Swap

OCTOBER 4--A North Carolina mother sold her baby daughter for a 1992 Plymouth Laser, according to police and felony indictments filed against her and two codefendants.

Alice Todd, 45, is accused of swapping her child last year for a vehicle provided by Tina Chavis, 47, and her husband Vicenio Romero, 53. All three defendants have been charged with the unlawful sale, surrender, or purchase of a minor.

At the time of the baby/vehicle barter, the child was less than a year old, according to court records.

A police investigation was launched in late-July when Chavis brought the child to a hospital for treatment. Since the girl was “presented to medical staff with bruising,” hospital personnel contacted cops and child protective service workers.

During subsequent questioning, Chavis initially said she was the child’s birth mother. She subsequently changed her story, saying that she had adopted the girl. But Chavis was unable to provide documentation to support that claim.

Police in Thomasville, a city 20 miles south of Winston-Salem, eventually identified Todd as the child’s biological mother. Superior Court indictments allege that Chavis and Romero “transferred possession of a vehicle to Alice Todd for physical custody of the minor.” The swap, the indictment adds, “was not ordered by a court, authorized by statute, or otherwise lawful.”

Police said that Todd accepted a 27-year-old Plymouth in return for her child. The girl, now two-years-old, is currently in the custody of a relative.

Todd, seen above, and her codefendants are each being held in the Davidson County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. They are scheduled for an October 21 court appearance. (1 page)