Craigslist ad touts baby for sale

(NBC) - Florida police are working with Craigslist to determine if a troubling ad placed on the website was a hoax.

Vonda Szczepaniak says she saw an advertisement offering to sell or trade a 6-month-old child.

Szczepaniak said she lives and shops by Craigslist. The grandmother has furnished nearly her entire house online. She even bought her dog through the Web site.

She said she never thought she'd find a baby for sale while browsing the listings. "My eyes went back up to baby for sale," she said. "I'm like, 'I wonder if it meant baby doll for sale.'"

While searching for a stroller on Craigslist for her grandson, Szczepaniak said she scrolled by an ad that stopped her in her tracks. "I clicked on it and my head just started spinning," she said. "'I have a 6-month-old baby for sale and will also entertain most trades.'"

The person listed on the ad, going by the name "Alex," said he was willing to trade a "healthy infant" for a truck, sport utility vehicle or a sports car.

Szczepaniak said her response was, "Are you serious?" She said Alex even wrote her back with another trade option.

"'I'm also considering boats, as well. Thank you,'" she said he told her. "I'm thinking, 'Are these people crazy? Is this a joke?'"

Szczepaniak said she wasn't laughing, and after a call to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, neither were police. "It's unheard of to think someone would actually have the intent to sell a 6-month-old baby on Craigslist," said Kim Cannaday, of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

The ad has been removed.

Now, the Crimes Against Children Unit is working on a subpoena that would force Craigslist to turn over information to help track down the computer where the posting originated.

They said, if this is a hoax, there's not much police can do about it. A Craigslist representative issued the following statement on Thursday:

"The misuse of Craigslist to facilitate criminal activity is unacceptable, and we are working continually to prevent it. Craigslist is an unwise choice for criminal acts, since an electronic trail is inevitably created, which law enforcement can easily follow."

Child endangerment is a felony.