A woman allegedly posed as an infant photographer in a plot to steal a baby, drugging one new mom with a cupcake in her attempt.
Juliette Parker, 38, was arrested on Friday and is being held on suspicion of attempted kidnapping and assault, according to jail records in Pierce County, Washington. Her 16-year-old daughter was also taken into custody, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s department, the new mother met Parker in a Facebook group, where Parker was offering free baby photos she could use to bolster her portfolio. She visited the woman’s home three times — taking cell phone selfies with the baby and also wiping her fingerprints off items she touched, authorities said.
On the third visit, Parker’s 16-year-old daughter gave the victim a drugged cupcake, according to the police.
“Basically she was drugged,” Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesperson, told KOMO News. “They put drugs in a cupcake, she ate it, and they attempted to take her kid."
The sheriff’s department did not immediately respond to questions from BuzzFeed News.
After feeling numbness, drowsiness, and vomiting, the mother went to the hospital and filed a police report. She later discovered that Parker had stolen her house keys, authorities said.
It was all part of a plot for Parker to obtain a baby to then raise as her own, officials said.
“She wanted a girl, she wanted them five weeks and younger so she could raise it herself, take it out of state and pretend it was a newborn of her own,” Troyer told KOMO News.
Since Parker was arrested, police have identified more new moms she targeted and the sheriff’s office is calling on anyone with information to continue to come forward.
Parker also used the names “Juliette Noel” and “Juliette Gains.”
After the initial case was reported in local media, more women have said they’d been contacted by Parker, who told them she was a photographer. One mom, Amanda Appling, told KOMO News that she spoke with Parker in December but was told that “she wasn’t looking for a boy at the time.”
Gabby Romain, another woman who had contact with Parker, told News5 that she was about to let Parker photograph her birth on Monday.
The suspect also unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Colorado Springs last year using the name Julie Parker. During her mayoral run, she spoke against homelessness and advocated for affordable housing, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.