Woman arrested for attempting to sell her 5-year-old son

Pinellas County deputies investigating

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Pinellas County detectives have arrested Jessica Marie Beers for attempting to sell her 5-year-old son to a Tampa couple, who reported her intentions to the Sheriff's Office.

Beers made her first appearance Sunday morning, and was given a $10,000 bond.

Detectives say James Gardner went to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Saturday morning to report that Beers was attempting to sell him her child. 

Gardner told detectives that he and his wife had met Beers through church when she was struggling to make ends meet. They befriended her and her son, and began assisting them with food and other monetary help.

Police say that over time, the Gardners noticed Beers had a prescription drug addiction, and she was leaving the child in their custody more frequently.

Within the past week, Beers offered to sell her parental rights to Gardner and his wife for $2,000. They believe she wanted the money in order to feed her prescription drug habit.

Fearing for the child's welfare, Gardner contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Detectives arrested Beers at an undisclosed prearranged location in Seminole were she was to meet Gardner and exchange the child for money.

Beers admitted to detectives she was attempting to sell her son, but she refused to say why.

The child is now safe with Child Protection investigators from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Beers was arrested on one count of Prohibited Acts; Sale of Parental Rights, and one count of Violation of Probation (Grand Theft).

The investigation continues.

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