Woman arrested for adoption fraud reveals new pregnancy
TAMPA (FOX 13) - A Bay Area woman was arrested after detectives said she led a Minnesota couple to believe they could adopt the baby she was carrying, even though she miscarried early in the pregnancy. But after her arrest Wednesday, detectives revealed the woman was again pregnant.
The investigation into 31-year-old Carrie Cutler's pregnancy began in March after the Florida-Adoptions agency in St. Petersburg called law enforcement about the suspected fraud.
The agency said Cutler, who's listed currently as a transient, signed a pre-birth agreement in July 2015 for the couple's adoption of her child. Later that month, Cutler gave the agency ultrasound photos and said her expected due date was in March 2016.
During the following months, detectives said Cutler sent the family messages about the baby. The couple, meanwhile, continued to make thousands of dollars in payments to the adoption agency, which indirectly went to Cutler for various living expenses.
Then in October of 2015, the couple traveled to Tampa from Minnesota for a scheduled meeting with Cutler. While waiting for her to arrive, the couple was told Cutler was not coming. So the couple went home.
In February 2016, Cutler sent a text message to couple and the adoption agency, claiming "the baby is fine" and a C-section was scheduled for March 2016, according to detectives. She contacted the couple in March and said doctors had postponed her delivery date.
Detectives said the couple came back to Tampa in March, in anticipation for the birth of the child and met with Cutler for the first time in Pinellas County. Detectives said Cutler continued to mislead the couple and, at one point during the meeting, claimed that the baby was kicking as she pointed to her stomach.
"They just had their emotions drained and Cutler wreaked havoc on them," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. "They saw something moving and she said it was the baby that was kicking and they believed it. She appeared as if she could have been pregnant."
Days later, Cutler contacted the couple and claimed that doctors miscalculated her original delivery date and she was not due to give birth for another six weeks. They went home to Minnesota without a baby.
Later in March, the adoption agency began to look into Cutler's claims. During its investigation, records from Brandon Regional Hospital were obtained and agency workers learned that Cutler had a miscarriage seven months earlier, in August 2015.
"They were duped. They were taken," Gualtieri said. "They're so eager, they wanted this kid, they didn't want to believe, who wants to believe you're getting scammed over a kid?"
Cutler never told the couple or the adoption agency about the miscarriage and, detectives said, she'd continued to accept almost $13,500 for expenses including rent, food, medical and phone bills after the miscarriage.
Cutler, who did not have a known address, was arrested the morning of June 8 at a Budget Inn Motel in Tampa. She was arrested on a Pinellas County warrant for two counts of adoption fraud. Cutler was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail.
She previously served time in prison for grand theft.
And the latest twist to the story is Cutler's current state.
"This is one of those things you can't make up. She is again, pregnant now, and her intention was to going through this whole process again," Gualtieri said.
FOX 13 News called, emailed and stopped by Florida-Adoptions, but did not get a response.