Police in northern Florida are looking for a man who motel guests say went door-to-door Saturday evening, asking to trade an infant for food.
A couple staying at the motel in Orange Park told CBS 12 that a man knocked on their door and “tried to give us the baby for some food." The wife said no, and when the husband got up to confront the man, he was gone.
Fellow hotel guest Jennifer Rogillio told News 4 Jax that the man was not careful holding the baby, and she feared he could drop the child.
"I was infuriated. That's why I called police to start with. It's sick. I mean, he could have dropped that baby. He was holding it upside down almost like a football," she said.
Det. Gary Briggs told First Coast News that they are unsure if the man is related to the baby and are concerned about the welfare of the child.
Witnesses said that the man and the baby were with a woman when a taxi picked them up by a McDonalds later that night, NBC 6 reports. However, no taxis in the area recorded picking up a fare at that time and place.
Police said that there haven’t been any reports of missing children in the area, but similar incidents have occurred across county and state lines. In nearby Putnam County, police recently arrested a woman who traded her 4-day-old baby for a car in Kentucky and drove to Florida, the Florida Times Union reports, and a Miami-Dade mom was arrested in December after allegedly offering to sell her baby to a friend in the Florida Keys for $7,000.
UPDATE, Wednesday 3 p.m.: According to Orange Park Police, officers found the infant and placed him under the care of the Department of Children and Families. He was found healthy and safe with his mother, whom police arrested on a separate charge. No charges will be filed against the man in the case, as the department and the State Attorney’s Office determined that his queries to trade the baby were not credible.