PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – From her jail cell in Pinellas County, an inmate promised a Nebraska couple her unborn twins.
But investigators tell us, Ceara Stowe accepted money from the would-be parents and then welched on the entire deal.
The arrest caps off a 2-month investigation. Deputies say Ceara Stowe signed paperwork to have her adopted twins, a boy and a girl, given to the couple.
Heartbroken. Devastated. Those are the words to describe a Kearney, Nebraska, couple’s feelings after their plans to adopt twins from Stowe evaporated.
“We had previously had 2 failed adoptions over the past couple of years and so we were cautiously optimistic about this one and hoping it would work out,” said Lindsey Buechler.
Investigators say, while in jail, Stowe sent letters and emails to Joshua and Lindsey Buechler, and continued to do so once released in March.
They said things like: “I’m really working on getting my life straightened out. I never want to be here again. I know I can’t do this. I wasn’t planning for this pregnancy.”
Stowe told them her doctor would induce labor on June 3. Cops say she requested money for rent, food and other bills, which was paid.
June 3 rolled around and she told the Buechlers she was heading to Bayfront Health.
But deputies say the deal was a fraud from the start.
“It wasn’t like, oh I had a change of heart. This was a very like deliberate malicious act,” Buechler said.
Come to find out Stowe actually gave birth on May 26 and didn’t tell anyone, including the adoption agency.
The Nebraska couple lost $24,000 in what deputies say was an adoption rip-off.
Stowe is charged with two counts of adoption fraud.
Her mother now has custody of the infant twins and Stowe’s four other children.