Crime

Florida inmate promised to let couple adopt her unborn twins. It was a scam, cops say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 29-year-old mother of six is back behind bars after failing to follow through on a pledged adoption of her two unborn twins while she was in the Pinellas County jail.

According to an arrest report, Ceara Stowe was serving time in the jail in late December of 2018 when she signed an adoption agreement to give the twins to a Nebraska couple after Stowe chose the couple through an adoption agency.

Stowe eventually served her time and returned home, at which time the Nebraska couple began sending her money to pay her bills through the remainder of her pregnancy. In May of this year, Stowe told the couple doctors planned to induce labor in June and asked the couple for a total of $2,100 to pay that month’s rent and other bills, the report states.

Deputies say Stowe texted the couple on June 3 to inform them she was headed to the hospital. The couple flew in from Nebraska only to find that Stowe was never admitted and that she cut off all communications at that point.

Because the adoption agreement included the right to release medical records to them, they were able to obtain records showing that Stowe had already given birth to the twins on May 26.

Detectives with the Economic Crimes Unit interviewed Stowe on Aug. 14 and the report states Stowe admitted to signing the agreement and taking the couple’s money after having already given birth.

Stowe was booked into the Pinellas County jail on two felony counts of adoption deception.

Stowe’s mother took temporary custody of the newborn twins and the four other children as the investigation continues, detectives say.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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