Police: bored Idaho teen posted 'boy for sale' ad
SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Craigslist ad offering a 4-year-old boy for sale for $5,000 was the work of a bored north Idaho teen, according to Sandpoint, Idaho, police.
Sandpoint Lt. Corey Coon said he tracked the ad to a 17-year-old who said he posted it on the Internet site as a joke using a photo of a child he found on the Internet.
The ad's author claimed to be the boy's father and identified the child as "Gavin."
"He doesn't fuss very much, but when he does he just screams for hours. I usually just put him in his closet until he stops and that usually works," the ad copy said.
The listing also said the boy was "a great kid, but I can no longer afford to take care of him."
The teen wrote an apology letter over the weekend after Coon confronted him at his home on Friday. The teen didn't realize the concern he caused or the time investigators spent trying to determine if the ad was a hoax or something sinister, Coon said.
"He was home with nothing else to do, and he thought it'd be funny," Coon said.
A Spokane, Wash., woman initially spotted the ad on Feb. 28 and soon alerted authorities. Craigslist removed the ad shortly after it was posted.
Spokane County sheriff's Deputy Damon Simmons used search warrants served on Internet service providers to track the computer that created the post to north Idaho, then turned the case over to Sandpoint police.
Coon said he's investigating possible criminal charges, such as identity theft or fraud, and hopes to send his report to the Bonner County prosecutor's office by Monday.