Cleveland couple accused of giving away toddler

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2011 4:38 PM
Cleveland couple accused of giving away toddler

A couple tried to give their 2-year-old daughter to a neighbor, saying they were going to drug rehab, and kept giving excuses for dumping the child, police said Friday.

Officers received an anonymous tip Thursday that Gavin Aldridge and Courtney Followay had given away their daughter. They found an emaciated pit bull and feces on the floor at the couple's house in Cleveland.

The neighbor told police that he had cared for the girl for at least 10 days. He said the parents didn't go to rehab and, after a week, gave other excuses for leaving the child.

Police say the girl was treated at a hospital for scrapes and an eye infection and was released to her grandmother.

The couple was jailed overnight and released pending an investigation.

Requests for comment to Aldridge and the grandmother weren't immediately returned.

The Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services agency received a tip on Sept. 8 about possible neglect involving the child and tried to contact the parents more than 13 times, making phone calls and visits to multiple home locations, agency spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said.

She said the parents were determined to duck social workers trying to contact them about the child's welfare. "The parents are skilled at evading authority," she said.

Social workers met Friday to discuss the best way to care for the child, Madigan said.

The agency said its goal is to keep families intact and encouraged troubled parents to seek help.