Man offers mother $100 to buy her 2-year-old son, police say

Police are looking for a man who allegedly offered to buy a woman's 2-year-old child for $100 at a Covina grocery store this week.

Police believe the incident may have been a case of attempted human trafficking.


The woman was shopping with her toddler at the Baja Ranch Market in the 400 block of South Citrus Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when the man approached her and complimented mother and child on their looks, according Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson.

He asked the mother if she was interested in selling her son. She immediately replied "No," but the man continued to compliment the boy, Peterson said.

Walking toward her car, police said, the woman again saw the man, who told her, "Oh look, it's you. It's both of you. You're beautiful."

Police said he approached the mother, removed $100 from his pocket and offered to buy her son. The mother feared the man would kidnap her boy, but police said she was so scared she could not scream for help.

The man persisted, saying, "Go ahead and take it. Just take it," as he waved the money.

A second man inside the suspect's car also urged her to take the money.

When she didn't respond, the man told the mother to keep the money, Peterson said, then dropped the bill in her shopping cart.

Both men drove off in a brown or champagne-colored Honda Pilot. The men were described as a middle-aged Latino man, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds, and a black man about 6 feet tall and weighing just over 200 pounds.

Surveillance video footage from the market shows the men entering the store together.

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