SHAWNEE, KS (WDAF/CNN) - A Kansas woman thought a stranger in a Target store was joking when she offered to trade a dog for her baby.
But when she started walking off with the woman's infant daughter, things got real.
Rachel Youngs stopped at Target on Shawnee Mission Parkway to get groceries Monday morning. She says she was in the baby section when a woman with a dog walked up to her.
“I made a comment on how cute her dog was, and she went around to the front of my cart and made a comment about how cute my baby is,” Youngs recalled. “She made a comment saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll trade you my dog for your baby,’ and I thought she was just joking."
Youngs said during the conversation, the woman told her she babysits all the time and has a dog grooming business.
“Just was super, super nice, and she went to the front of my cart and asked me if she could hold my daughter. And she starts taking her out of the car seat, and she hands me her dog," Youngs explained.
Youngs said she agreed to let the stranger hold her baby, but immediately regretted it.
“While she’s holding my baby, she started saying weird things, she starts asking me, ‘Do you have a godmother?’ I said no, and she said, ‘I’d love to be your godmother. I’ll split everything 50/50,’” Youngs said. “And I was like, this is kind of weird. Like, who says this to a random person?’”
Youngs said the conversation became even more alarming.
“And she says, ‘Just so you know, I was arrested for attempted kidnapping.’ That’s when I was like, OK you know what, there’s something wrong. All of a sudden, starts walking off with my daughter. I yelled to her, I said, ‘I need my baby back, please. Give me my baby back,’” Youngs said.
She said the lady hesitated for a second, then handed over baby Waverly.
Youngs asked employees to call police. Officers arrived, but told Youngs their hands were tied.
“They just said, ‘Well, there’s nothing we can really do because you technically gave her permission to hold your baby,’” Youngs said. “And my exact words were, ‘Okay, so me giving her permission to hold my baby for a couple minutes gives her permission to take off with my child?’"
According to Shawnee police, they know who the woman in question is, and are still investigating.
Youngs said she’ll think twice the next time a stranger walks up to her. She’s worried the woman may do the same thing to another mother.