Investigation into a Spokane Craigslist ad that offered a 4-year-old boy for sale has been transferred to another law enforcement agency.
A sheriff's deputy tracked Internet Provider address information for the posting and believes the post may have originated outside of Washington, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office announced today.
A law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction will continue the investigation "to determine if the ad was a hoax or an actual offer to sell a child," said Sgt. Dave Reagan.
Police haven't specified which jurisdiction.
The investigation began March 1 when a Spokane woman told police of a Craigslist ad she spotted on Feb. 28 that offered a boy named Gavin for $5,000.
It included a photo of a small child in a yellow fireman’s helmet and a dark shirt with the word “adventure” on the front.
The ad had been posted just before 11 p.m. the previous day but had been removed by Craigslist when the woman returned to the site after copying the text – but not the photo – into a computer word processing program.
The ad’s author claimed to be the boy’s father.
The author said the boy was a “great kid” but that he could no longer afford to care for him. The boy loves basketball, football and soccer but doesn’t play with cars, refuses to eat vegetables and can scream for hours at a time.
“But he always has a smile on his face. He doesn't fuss very much, but when he does he just screams for hours. I usually just put him in his closet until he stops and that usually works," according to the ad.
“It is going to kill me to do this but as I stated before I cannot afford to keep him. His Motherr is out of the picture and my parents no longer talk to me since I’ve had Gavin,” the ad read, according to the search warrant. “So I don’t know what else to do other than find a good family with kids or a couple that wants a son.”
The seller, who identified himself as Rick Obelophy, said he wouldn’t give the boy “to anyone.”
“I want to meet with you and make sure you will be fit parents,” the ad read.