Three Bowling Green residents accused of participating in a back-channel adoption were arrested Tuesday by the Bowling Green Police Department.
Maria Domingo-Perez, 31, is alleged to have sold her infant child for $2,000 to Pascual Jose Manuel, 45, and Catarina Jose Felipe, 37, according to city police records.
The three have been charged with sell/purchase a child for adoption, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
BGPD spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward said the baby at the center of the alleged transaction was born in October.
Police received information Monday from an employee at Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School who had information that a woman may have given away a baby, according to arrest citations.
Acting on that information, police traveled to Domingo-Perez’s residence on West 10th Avenue.
Domingo-Perez gave conflicting information to police before admitting she gave away the infant Nov. 29, naming the couple who received the child, Ward said.
Police then traveled to a residence on North Lee Drive, where Manuel and Felipe live. Officers learned from Manuel that he gave $2,000 to Domingo-Perez for the child and planned to adopt the baby, according to an arrest citation.
“They did tell us about the financial transaction, but beyond that we haven’t gotten into great depth about how all this came about,” Ward said.
The baby and four of Domingo-Perez’s other children were taken into protective custody.
No injuries were reported for any of the children.
“Once we figure out that there’s some acts that are unlawful, we need to protect the children as quickly as we can,” Ward said. “Our primary concern is that all the children are safe, and they are, so now we want to try to understand the facts of the case.”
Ward said Domingo-Perez did not provide a statement as to any motive, invoking her right to an attorney during a police interview.
“We do know that the buyers did not know the seller, so somehow they came together and we need to figure out exactly how that happened,” Ward said.
The three suspects are in Warren County Regional Jail, where no bond had been set as of Tuesday afternoon. All are due for arraignment before Warren District Judge Brent Potter.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdaily news.com.