JACKSONVILLE (ActionNewsJax.com) -- May 13th, 2011.
A healthy baby girl was born in Jacksonville, and two families were waiting to take her home.
Prosecutors say Kenyetta Murray used her child to steal from those couples instead.
"We named her Elise Desiree and we pray for her every night."
Brook Wesley and her husband Mike never met the baby girl they already thought of as their own. They never got the chance. "Now looking back I don't understand how anyone can be that cold to do that,” Brook told Action News. “ Not just to us, but to children."
The Wesley's signed an adoption agreement with Murray and paid for her living expenses. What they didn't know was that Murray had already agreed to place her child with another family, and had been taking money from them for months.
Glenda Carr, Executive Director of Bundle of Hope Ministries, represented the second couple. Neither family knew of the other, until the hospital called. "The social worker called us to say ‘we've received a letter from you and also have notification from another attorney.’" Carr said.
Panicked calls to Kenyetta went unanswered, until days later, when she couldn't hide from the truth anymore. Prosecutors say Murray, a mother of 5 children already, never intended to place her baby girl for adoption.
Murray was arrested and charged with adoption fraud. The families were left with broken hearts. "I hated Kenyetta for a long time, that baby was mine. I truly felt that in my heart she was mine." said Brook. She and her husband moved to Tennessee to start over. They now have three children, but everyday, they think about the baby girl they left behind.
The little girl is now 16 months old, she along with Murray's five other children, live with their maternal grandmother.
Murray plead guilty to grand theft and adoption fraud, she's set to be sentenced November 14th and faces 10 years in prison.