UPDATE: Investigators believe drugs motivated couple to sell baby

Published: Jun. 3, 2016 at 10:37 PM EDT
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UPDATE 6/4/2016 @ 10 p.m.

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – According to Fayette County Sheriff's deputies, a couple went to a home on Chestnut Knob Road on May 28th and said they were trying to sell their baby for between $500 and $1,000.

Investigators believe the couple wanted to use the money from selling the baby to buy drugs.

The home the couple went to belonged to a woman who did not buy the baby, but took care of the infant for several hours.

Carolyn Redden lives approximately one mile from the couple, but says they did not know each other that well. She says she had never seen the mother before, but knew Jonathan Flint since he was a child.

Redden said after she refused to purchase the baby, they instead asked her to babysit while they walked five miles to a local convenience store. She says the couple did not return until the following day, after the baby was already in custody of child protective services.

Redden was the woman who dialed 911, ultimately alerting law enforcement of the situation. She says the baby would not stop crying and kept shaking.

According to the woman watching the baby, an EMS worker told her the infant may be suffering from drug withdrawal.

Captain Jim Sizemore with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office says, with more than 30 years on the job, nothing surprises him anymore. Still, he says he does not understand how anyone could put their baby in a similar position.

"You try very hard to separate your professional life from your personal life. But, when there's a child being abused, you can't help but think there but for the grace of God is my child. I have a daughter that I love more than anything on this earth, and I would gladly give my life to keep her safe," he says.

Deputies say the child's biological father had no knowledge of the scheme to sell his daughter.

Both Harmon and Flint were taken to the Southern Regional Jail. Their bond is set at $100,000 each.

ORIGINAL STORY 6/3/2016 @ 10:37 p.m.

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man and a woman were arrested after allegedly trying to sell their own 3-month-old baby, Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say.

The child was found last Saturday night, abandoned at a home along Chestnut Knob Road in Layland.

Deputies say a young couple had brought the infant to the home earlier that day, trying to sell the infant for $500 to $1,000. The baby, who was suffering from an illness, later was found at that same home.

The child’s mother, Ashley Nichole Harmon, 25, and her fiancé, Jonathan Isaac Lucas Flint, 20, both of Layland, West Virginia, are charged with the felony offenses of Selling or Attempting to Sell A Child and Gross Child Neglect Creating A Risk of Bodily Injury or Death to A Child.

Deputies say the couple had traveled from the Rupert area of Greenbrier County, leaving behind two other kids under the age of 3.

The sick child found in Fayette County was taken to a hospital and later placed in foster care.

Both Harmon and Flint were taken to the Southern Regional Jail. Their bond is set at $100,000 each.