Dispute arises over adoption or sale of baby

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 1999

A possible baby-selling scheme may have been thwarted.

Monday, September 20, 1999

A possible baby-selling scheme may have been thwarted. Another possibility is that a grandparent of the newborn child didn’t want the baby adopted.

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That’s what Austin Police Department detectives learned after a female called the department from Oklahoma, alleging a child born at Austin Medical Center Sept. 13 was being sold for $5,000.

Austin Police Chief Paul M. Philipp said detectives checked out the story told by the Oklahoma person and AMC confirmed a baby was born Sept. 13 to an 18-year-old Austin female, fathered by a 20-year-old Austin male.

Officers went to the couple’s residence at 1108 18th Ave. N.W. and questioned the couple, who denied wanting to sell their baby.

Officers also asked to see the baby and, according to Chief Philipp, "observed a healthy baby."

The couple told investigators, they did not intend to sell the baby, but were considering placing it up for adoption. The reason given by the couple is they already have a one-year old child and are full-time college students, who could not properly rear the baby, according to the police chief’s report.

Further investigation this weekend revealed a male relative had volunteered to adopt the child, but then declined.

Police were also able to locate a woman who said she was willing to adopt the child and had an Arizona attorney preparing papers for the adoption.

After checking with Robert Auron, an assistant Mower County Attorney, specializing in vulnerable adult/children cases, Auron told police no adoption of a baby born in Minnesota could take place before a hearing and that the hearing would have to be held in Mower County District Court.

According to Chief Philipp, investigators were satisfied at the time their investigation concluded, "They agreed to have an adoption hearing for the baby."

Possible arson fires

Austin police and fire departments’ investigators believe two early Sunday garage and garbage can fires are connected and set by means of arson.

Austin Police Chief Paul M. Philipp said Lt. David Simonson was on routine patrol early Sunday, when he smelled smoke

The shift commander drove until he found the source of the smoke, which was a garage near the American Legion Post headquarters (former Riviera Supper Club).

The Austin Fire Department was called to the scene at 4:18 a.m. Sunday at the Quinton Goskersen residence at 1100 8th Ave. S.W.

The garage fire was extinguished, but not before the victims lost their 1989 Oldsmobile auto and other possessions. The loss was estimated at $20,000.

The victims told investigators, neighborhood kids frequently play in their back yard and around the garage, according to the police report.

Another garage fire at the Mitchell Dennison home, 703 6th Ave. S.W. or four blocks from the Goskersens’ residence, also brought police and fire investigators to the scene.

The fire was confined to a plastic garbage container located near the Dennison garage, but still resulted in an estimated $2,500 damages to both.

It is believed to have occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 9:50 a.m. Sunday.

The investigation into both fires continues.