A former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate accused of trying to steal a newborn girl in Washington state had duped a Pikes Peak region man into believing she had recently given birth to his daughter, he said.
The man, 42, said he met Juliette Parker, 38, through an online dating service when she lived in Colorado Springs and met up with her for casual dates spanning nearly two years.
After a monthslong absence, Parker reached out to him in December reporting she had moved to Washington and was pregnant with his child, he told The Gazette in a phone interview Monday, saying the time line “worked out.”
He agreed to speak with The Gazette only if his name was omitted, saying he didn’t want publicity from what has become a national story.
On Jan. 10, he said Parker sent him an apparent text-picture of herself in a hospital gown cradling a baby, with the words “I have arrived” superimposed on the front. Her face wasn't shown — it's out of view as the woman gazes down at the child — but the insinuation was clear, he said.
“You are officially a father of 3 congrats,” a follow-up text read, referring to his two other children from earlier relationships. “And before you pack (and) come here or do anything … I know this is probably not gonna make you happy or make sense but I need some time to get my head (and) thoughts … in order.”
He now believes he was an unwitting bystander in what he called an “evil” ruse, citing allegations lodged by authorities in Washington state.
“She’s a monster,” he said. “What would you call her?”
Parker, 38, and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested Friday at their home in Spanaway, Wash., on suspicion of kidnapping and assault. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office described a plot in which authorities said Parker drugged a new mother with a cupcake in an attempt to steal her baby. Authorities said the woman met Parker on a Facebook page for new mothers, where Parker claimed to be a commercial photographer and offered free photo sessions.
After eating the cupcake, the woman felt numb and drowsy and vomited, and then she kicked Parker and her teenage daughter out of her home. She called 911, unraveling a scheme in which Parker allegedly made repeated house calls to other new mothers looking for a child to abduct, authorities said.
The woman who was drugged described odd behavior, including how Parker posed for selfies with her baby. Parker also allegedly wiped down items she had touched, to clean her fingerprints.
Parker led an unsuccessful bid for Colorado Springs mayor last year, coming in a distant second in April to incumbent John Suthers.
In his interview, the Pikes Peak area man said he learned he wasn’t a new father from news coverage of Parker’s arrest.
“I had literally texted her at like 1 p.m. that afternoon,” he said.
Parker had discussed moving back to Colorado, which he encouraged, saying he wanted to be in his child’s life.
The man shared the Jan. 10 photo and text messages with the newspaper to corroborate his story, on the condition that they not be published. He said he didn't want to interfere with Parker's prosecution.
The man said he told his story to a Pierce County sheriff’s detective earlier Monday. The Gazette left a message for the deputy he said he called and didn't hear back.
He said Parker didn’t ask for monetary support of any kind.
“We never talked about her financial situation at all,” he said. “I never knew if she worked or if she had a job. She lived on her own. She did her own thing.
“That’s the weirdest thing,” he added. “I can’t put my money on why she would do this. If it was crazy ploy for child support, that would at least make damn sense.”
He and Parker had “five or six” sexual encounters over roughly two years after meeting online.
“Don’t ever do that,” he said of online dating. “I would caution you and everyone else to stay off of them.”