JOPLIN, Mo. (KOAM) — A Joplin, Missouri daycare operator was sentenced in federal court for a scheme to take the infant daughter of a client to Arkansas to be adopted by another couple.
According to court documents, authorities believe the crime took place between June 1, 2017, and July 20, 2017.
Lasonya Poindexter started babysitting Ashley and Christian’s two children at her home daycare in April of 2017.
On July 20, 2017, the Joplin couple went to the Joplin Missouri Police Department to report that their babysitter, Poindexter, had tried to take their 5-month-old child by giving her up for adoption.
The mother, Ashley, said she was contacted by an Arkansas woman through private messages on Facebook asking if she really wanted to put her 5-month-old child up for adoption. The Arkansas woman said she and her husband were planning to adopt through Poindexter. The woman said Poindexter had been taking the child to her home in Arkansas to prepare for the adoption.
During the investigation, the Arkansas woman said she found Poindexter through a Facebook babysitter page. According to court documents, the couple eventually suspected something was not right and got in contact with the child’s parents.
The FBI, Joplin Police Department and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force worked the case together.
Poindexter was arrested on Sept. 13, 2017.
Poindexter told investigators that her 16-year-old sister stated that the 5-month-old would be better off with another family, so Poindexter devised a plan for the Arkansas couple to adopt the child.
Poindexter said she had also considered giving the Arkansas family another child she babysat, but she had not gotten a chance to bring it up after she was confronted by Ashley and the Arkansas woman.
Poindexter, 31, was sentenced to six years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Poindexter to pay $1,500 in restitution to the victim’s parents.
Federal prosecutors indicted Poindexter in 2017 with kidnapping and wire fraud. In June of 2018, she entered a plea deal in order to get the kidnapping charge dropped.
The United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced charges against Lasonya Poindexter on September 14th, 2017.
This story was provided by KOAM, a CBS affiliated station