A Washington state woman who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Colorado Springs in 2019 has been accused of trying to kidnap a three-week-old baby. The 38-year-old who, according to authorities went by several aliases, was released on a $50,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
Juliette Parker and her teenage daughter are suspected of posing as photographers and drugging a new mother to try and steal her infant. Parker was released Sunday afternoon on a $50,000 bond, reports CBS News' Carter Evans.
Since her arrest, authorities tell CBS News more than 10 people say Parker came to their homes to take photos. Investigators believe she was searching for the baby she wanted to steal.
Authorities say Parker used social media to lure in unsuspecting moms, offering free maternity and newborn photos. She said she wanted to build her portfolio, but detectives allege her real motive was much more sinister.
"She wanted a girl," said Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. "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."
A mom in Washington state answered the post, inviting Parker into her home three times. Police said the woman spotted Parker taking selfies with the baby and wiping down her fingerprints from items she touched inside the home.
During the third visit, authorities said Parker and her 16-year-old daughter gave the woman a cupcake. The mom suddenly began vomiting and feeling numb and drowsy. She ordered the two to leave and called 911, only to realize her house keys were stolen.
"Basically she was drugged," said Troyer. "They put drugs in a cupcake, she ate it, and they attempted to take her kid."
Parker and her daughter were arrested at their house about 40 miles south of Seattle.
Parker has been charged with attempted kidnapping and assault. Her attorney declined to speak with "CBS This Morning." Authorities haven't released details about Parker's daughter because she is a minor.
As for the alleged victim, she's been released from the hospital.
Victoria Morris, who met Parker after responding to the Facebook post, said something seemed off about her: "She used her sleeve to open the front door. And when she came into the house, she wouldn't even sit in a chair; she sat on the ground."
Parker took photos of the expectant mother and was supposed to be inside the delivery room with her. But as it turns out, Morris gave birth on the day Parker was arrested.
"I was in shock, but I also ... I didn't want to believe it, to be honest, 'cause I was just upset about it," said Morris. "I do think this should be a warning to other moms. It makes me anxious to know that people like that can be so manipulative and really work their way into your life, and it's so easy to get caught up in it."
Authorities say the 38-year-old Parker, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Colorado Springs last year, operated under several aliases, including "Juliette Noel" and "Juliette Gains."
In a Ballotpedia candidate survey she filled out for the 2019 mayoral race, Parker described the qualities she had that she felt would make her a successful officeholder: "Honest, good moral code & compass, caring, respectful, smart, understanding, common sense, passionate, ethics, ability to think outside the box."
The Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. is asking anyone who believes they are a victim to contact them by calling (253) 798-7724.
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