Police say a man tried to sell his six-month-old daughter outside a Walmart store in Salinas, California, this week.
Patrick Fousek, 28, and the child's mother, Samantha Tomasini, 20, have been charged with felony child endangerment, attempting to abandon a child, and being intoxicated on methamphetamine, which is a misdemeanour.
Cmdr. Tracy Molfino, of Salinas Police, said Fousek was carrying the child in the store's parking lot about 7:20 pm on Tuesday when he asked to borrow a mobile phone from two women.
He struck up a conversation with them and then offered to sell his daughter to them for $25 (£17), according to the Mercury News.
Police said the women weren't sure if he was joking, but apparently he persisted with his pleas and put the baby in their arms.
Fortunately the women gave the baby back and called 911, Molfino said.
The Mercury News reports that by the time police arrived, Fousek and the baby's mother, who had been waiting in a car nearby, had disappeared.
However the women gave police a description of the vehicle, which police traced to an apartment building.
There, the News reports, police found Fousek, Tomasini and the baby.
Officers said the baby was living in "squalor" and her parents were high on methamphetamine.
The baby has now been placed in protective custody while her parents face charges.
This is one of those stories that backs up the idea that parents should have to have a licence before having a baby...
Source: Mercury News