Four charged in Indianapolis baby-selling case

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 13, 2011 4:23 PM
Four charged in Indianapolis baby-selling case

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Prosecutors on Wednesday charged two couples here with conspiring to sell a newborn baby for $300 in a deal that would have put the child in the care of a convicted child molester and convicted child abuser.

The three-count indictment includes felony child-selling charges against all four defendants, as well as felony forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery charges.

According to prosecutors, Michael Overby, a 57-year-old convicted child molester, arranged to buy the baby from Rose Faucett, the child's 36-year-old mother.

As part of the alleged scheme, Overby and Faucett forged a state form -- a paternity affidavit -- that named Overby as the child's father and submitted it to the Indianapolis-area hospital where the child was born.

Also charged in the case are Overby's girlfriend, a 50-year-old named Debbie Overby on probation for felony child neglect, and Phillip Hester, the child's 58-year-old biological father.

Police said the Overbys and Faucett had signed two written agreements.

In the first, Faucett promised she would visit the child once a week for no more than two hours and would not visit while she was intoxicated.

The second, a temporary guardianship agreement, gave the Overbys legal custody of the child, born on April 2, until it turned 18. The authorities did not identify the child's sex.

According to prosecutors, the Overbys verbally agreed to allow Faucett to live with them through mid-May and then would give her $300 to "find a place to live."

As a result of the arrest, authorities removed two other children from the Overby household, a four-year-old and an 11-year-old, neither a biological child of the couple.

According to an affidavit in the case, the Overbys were paying the parents of the four-year-old, who live in Alabama, $100-$200 a month to keep their child in Indiana.

(Reporting by James Kelleher and Susan Guyett; Editing by Jerry Norton)