A classified ad offering a baby, “free to a good home,” has Victoria police officers attempting to find the would-be seller to ensure no children are at risk.
The investigation began around 10:30 a.m. Monday after police were made aware of an ad posted on UsedVictoria.com, offering the baby for free with a photo of a young infant attached.
“Obviously this is disconcerting,” said Const. Mike Russell. “The first part of me thinks, ‘It must be a hoax.’ Then you have a sober second thought, ‘You know what? Whether it’s a hoax or not, this needs to be investigated because we need to ensure there’s no kids at risk here.’”
On Monday afternoon Russell said investigators were still trying to track down where the posting came from, but said, “It’s probably not from our jurisdiction; not on the Island.”
Erin Richards, marketing co-ordinator for UsedVictoria, a Black Press-owned website, said they are co-operating with police.
“First and foremost, our concern is the welfare of the child and what is in their best interest and that is why we removed the ad immediately after it was posted,” she said. “We have given information to the Victoria Police Department, who are now investigating.”
While Russell said the posting is “probably” a hoax, the fact that there’s no definitive proof of that means a child could be in danger.