PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. (KKTV) - An unsettling case in Washington has authorities concerned there could be other possible victims. The suspect has ties to Colorado Springs.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is reporting a woman and her daughter are suspected of posing as newborn photographers and drugging a woman in an attempt to steal her baby.
Pierce County is south of Seattle. The adult suspect went by Juliette Parker but has other aliases. She was also a mayoral candidate in Colorado Springs in the past. According to online records, she lived in Colorado Springs from 2016 to 2019.
In the most recent criminal case, Parker is facing charges of attempted kidnapping and assault. She pleaded not guilty to those charges in court on Tuesday, according to KIRO reporter Alison Grande. She was then taken away by authorities in handcuffs.
"Juliette Parker’s attorney says she has bone cancer and is not a flight risk. He wants her released on personal recognizance. Judge sided with prosecutor and set bail at $150,000," Alison Grande posted to Twitter.
In 2014, Parker was charged in U.S. District Court with larceny and trespassing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
Parker told 11 News partner The Gazette she was hiking and unaware she was on military property when she found ammunition — including rifle bullets — on the ground and picked it up, intending to throw it away. She said that at home, one of the bullets spontaneously fired, leading police to respond.
"If you have been contacted by a woman named 'Juliette Parker', 'Juliette Noel' or 'Juliette Gains,' who posed as a photographer, and believe you are a victim, please give our detectives a call as soon as possible at 253-798-7724," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office told 11 News they believe the woman was targetting female babies younger than 5 weeks old.
On Feb. 5, a woman called 911 after she "began feeling numbness, drowsiness, instability on her feet and was vomiting." The victim told first responders she believed she was drugged.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Office detailed what came next in a Facebook post:
"After seeking further treatment at a hospital, the victim contacted the Sheriff’s Department to file a police report. The victim told deputies that she believed she was drugged by a woman who had come to her house posing as a photographer. The victim reported that she had met the suspect through a post on a newborn baby group on Facebook, where the suspect had advertised free photos of newborn babies so the suspect could build her portfolio.
The suspect reportedly came to the victim’s residence on three occasions to photograph her newborn baby. The suspect was observed taking cell phone selfies with the victim’s baby and was seen wiping her fingerprints off items she touched inside the victim’s home. During the third incident, the suspect and the suspect’s teenage daughter gave the victim a cupcake to eat; the victim reported feeling numb and drowsy immediately after eating the cupcake. The victim told the suspect and her daughter to leave her home. After they left, the victim noticed that the suspect had stolen her house keys.
Our detectives have worked tirelessly on this case, conducting multiple interviews and obtaining several search warrants. This detailed investigation identified additional victims and garnered evidence that indicate that the suspect was planning to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own. Our deputies also donated to purchase new locks and window guards for the victim and volunteered to install them at her residence."
On Friday at about 2:30 p.m., authorities arrested the 38-year-old suspect and her 16-year-old daughter in Spanaway, Washington.
She posted bond and was released prior to her court appearance on Tuesday. She was taken into custody again on Tuesday with a bond of $150,000 and was released again on Thursday.